The thought of the Green Bay Packers making the postseason in the early weeks of the season felt like it'd only happen in a dream. Now that they've made it, a deep run would only feel like the cherry on top.
Going up against the second-seed Dallas Cowboys makes for a tough battle, but one Green Bay could surprise people in. With the defense looking like it's taking a positive turn and Jordan Love on fire, the Packers got hot at the right time.
Going into the wild-card round, the Packers feel like a sneaky seven seed that not many teams want to face. But to win this Sunday, they will need great performances from these players.
Packers need these 3 players to deliver in playoffs vs. Cowboys
Jaire Alexander is dealing with a "freak" injury, but the Packers will need him to deliver if he's healthy.
If the Packers can stop wide receiver CeeDee Lamb from a big game, their chances of winning will immediately skyrocket. Of course, that's easier said than done, as Lamb is one of the top receivers in the entire league.
This season, Lamb has the most receptions (135), second-most yards (1,749), second-most touchdowns (12), and was tied for second-most receptions of 20-plus yards (29). It's hard to underestimate just how much Dallas will target him in this game.
Jaire, on the other hand, is having a down year by his standards. It could be a combination of injuries and other off-field issues. Even though he was targeted just two times in Week 18 against the Bears, he allowed zero completions for the first time in a game this year. The Packers will desperately need a great game from him to even have a chance at winning.
Rasheed Walker and Zach Tom
This list was only supposed to include three players, but it will take a real two-man effort from the Packers' starting tackles. Going up against Micah Parsons could be the toughest pass rusher Green Bay has faced all year.
After putting up a career-high in sacks at 14, Parsons will most likely be within the top five of the Defensive Player of the Year voting. He also had the fourth-most QB hits (33), sixth-most tackles for loss (18), and sixth-most pressures (43).
Luckily, Walker and Tom have shown they can be the starting tackles for this offense in the years to come. According to ESPN, Walker is tied for first in the league for pass block win rate, while Tom is tied for 15th. Also, besides Parson, Dallas has had difficulty creating pressure, as they are 23rd in pressures (127).
Reed has already been a star in the Packers offense this year, and he will need to continue that against a tough Dallas defense. They're a top-five scoring defense, with much of that to do with their secondary.
In terms of strictly pass defense, they rank in the top 10 in yards, touchdowns, interceptions, and first downs allowed. If the Packers can even get somewhat of a consistent pass game going, their chances of making it out of the Wild Card get even better.
With Reed able to create both explosive plays in the pass and run game, he should have a significant role in the game plan. Even more important is that a good game from him can open up better opportunities for players like Bo Melton and Dontayvion Wicks, who have shined in recent weeks.