Week 9 in Green Bay: How The Packers Will Rise to the Top Against Dallas

Nicholas SteblenkoContributor IIINovember 6, 2010

Clay Matthews leads the league with 9.5 sacks so far this season
Clay Matthews leads the league with 9.5 sacks so far this seasonAndrew Burton/Getty Images

Green Bay has endured its fair share of ups and downs so far in 2010. Yet, many would argue that the Packers could very well be 7-1 at this point and sitting atop a weak NFC if they could have pulled out two overtime wins that tarnish their reputation.

This Sunday, though, there can be no mistakes as the Pack take on the most surprising team of the NFC so far, the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys have been terrible this season and it has been completely unexpected. Many critics picked Dallas to play for the Super Bowl in 2010-11, but the Cowboys have been dealing with a number of costly mistakes each and every week. Couple that with a coach that has lost control of his team and you get a recipe for disaster.

Dallas is 1-6 and all signs point to big changes in the offseason at the hands of Jerry Jones, who is not well known for his forgiving nature when it comes to his beloved Cowboys. To make matters worse, Dallas is hosting the Super Bowl this season, a game that the Cowboys would love to play in, mostly because it would be a home game for the Lombardi trophy.

Green Bay needs to take advantage of the haphazard Cowboys this Sunday and dismantle them from every angle. The Packers have the tools, even though they have been dealing with injuries, to beat the Cowboys up and down the Frozen Tundra on Sunday night.

Aaron Rodgers needs to get his passing game going early by using short, quick slants to move the chains. Last week's performance cannot be repeated, as Rodgers and the offense failed to score a single touchdown against a Jets defense ranked 18th against the pass. Sunday night could be the same story as the Pack are facing the 14th-ranked pass defense in the Cowboys.

The Green Bay defense will still have its hands full even though Tony Romo will be sitting out with a broken clavicle. Jon Kitna is an experienced quarterback with an arsenal of weapons at his disposal, including first-round draft pick Dez Bryant who has been coming on strong as of late. If the Packers get careless and start missing assignments, Kitna may be able to spread the ball around and put some points on the board.

Clay Matthews and the rest of the Green Bay pass rush will need to get to the quarterback early and often to keep Kitna out of rhythm.

As long as they take this game seriously and challenge themselves to improve, the Packers should be able to come up with a convincing victory and keep pushing to the top of the NFC. Mike McCarthy and company need to take a head of steam into their bye week in Week 10 and quell any doubters that the Packers can still be the best in their conference.