Featured image for blog post about the Packers and Cowboys 2023 Wild Card Game. It shows Dontayvion Wicks beating Stephon Gilmore for a touchdown.

      Almost Perfect – Packers Embarrass Cowboys in the Wild Card Round

      This game was a perfect example of stats being misleading. The Cowboys were better in nearly every statistical category except for sacks and turnovers, and yet they were never close to being competitive in this game. 

      Stats Can be Misleading

      • The Cowboys had 510 yards of total offense compared to 415 for the Packers
      • The Cowboys had 15 more first downs (37-22)
      • The Cowboys were penalized 6 times for 48 yards while the Packers were flagged 7  times for 66 yards
      • The Cowboys time of possession was 31:05 compared to 28:55 for the Packers
      • The Cowboys had two 100 yard receivers (Lamb and Gallup)
      • Jake Ferguson had three touchdown receptions

      Most of those are volume stats and are indicative of a team playing from behind and a defense playing soft to prevent big plays.

      Jordan Love Passing 

      Love had 272 yards passing with the breakdown being 165 in the air and 107 yards gained by the receiver after the catch. Doubs was his main target catching all 6 targets for 151 yards and a touchdown. In total, Love targeted 8 different receivers though no receiver besides Doubs had more than 3 receptions. Jayden Reed was targeted three times but didn’t have a catch.

      Staying Clean

      Although he was pressured on 28% of his passes, it was one of only four games this year where he wasn’t sacked. It was also the only game all year where the Cowboys didn’t register a sack. 

      Aaron Jones’ Third Quarter

      Aaron Jones had another phenomenal performance in Dallas, rushing for 118 yards and three touchdowns. He Also rushed for 9 first downs to keep drives moving. He had 71 yards before contact and 47 yards after contact. Jones only had 30 yards at halftime and exploded in the second half with 66 yards in the third quarter alone.

      Tucker Kraft Dominates Snap Counts

      Even though this was the second game that the Packers had Luke Musgrave back, Tucker Kraft still dominated the snap counts by playing on 80% of all offensive snaps. Luke Musgrave was only in on 27% of the snaps but made one of them count when he found himself wide open for a 38 yard touchdown reception.

      Keisean Nixon Quietly Had a Big Day

      The All-Pro kick returner also made his presence felt on defense, playing in 93.7% of all defensive snaps and being tied with Quay Walker for most tackles (11) while also getting a sack. He was targeted 12 times but only allowed 7 receptions for 52 yards.

      There weren’t many areas for the Packers to improve after this game (aside from allowing some fourth quarter scores) and it will be a challenge to match this output against the 49ers.

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