Run off the field
Coming into this game, the Packers had been massively impressive against the run.
They were stopping opponents at an unprecedented rate on the ground.
Their opposition was not impressive however (T.J. Yeldon w/o Chris Ivory in Jacksonville, a partial showing from Adrian Peterson, a run-allergic Detroit team w/o Ameer Abdullah, and a Giants’ attack down to their #3-5 running options and a terrible offensive line) so it was fair to question just how good they actually were.
Turns out, competition matters.
In what was widely regarded as a classic “Unstoppable Force vs Immovable Object” matchup, the Dallas offense steamrolled through the Packers’ feeble attempts to slow them down. Most of this was just letting their rookie runner go to work.
Ezekiel Elliott came in off of three straight games of over 130 yards, and put up his highest total yet with 157 yards on 28 carries, consistently busting through would-be tacklers for decent-or-better gains seemingly every time he touched the ball.
As the game wore on those runs only got stronger, milking precious time off the clock to close the door on any potential comeback.
In the end, the Cowboys piled up more yardage by running than the previous four opponents combined.
While Green Bay won’t be facing teams with such a special array of talents in this facet of the game, this doesn’t bode well for when they do face decent running teams.
The cat is out of the bag: they can be pushed around, just like they were in seemingly every year since their latest Super Bowl win.
Even worse: after playing the Bears on Thursday, the next four teams on their schedule (Atlanta, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Washington) are all in the top 10 for Rush Offense DVOA (8,10,7, and 4, respectively).
The Packers will have plenty of chances to show this Dallas game was a one-off against a unit in its own class, but this area is now yet another problem for fans to worry about yet again.