Rodgers al­ways seems to have enough time

Chicago Sun-Times - - THE CHEAT SHEET - MARK POTASH

When Dak Prescott scored the go- ahead touch­down on a zone- read keeper against the Pack­ers on Sun­day, Cow­boys coach Ja­son Gar­rett might have been the only per­son in the world who didn’t re­al­ize he had just made the big­gest mis­take since the last time he gave Aaron Rodgers too much time on the clock.

In a classic case of foot­ball ig­no­rance, the Cow­boys, trail­ing 31- 28 with 9: 56 left in the fourth quar­ter, pur­posely milked the clock on their touch­down drive — and still screwed it up. Rodgers only needed 35 sec­onds to beat the Cow­boys in their NFC divi­sional play­off game at AT& T Sta­dium in Jan­uary. Yet Gar­rett gave Rodgers 63 sec­onds — ba­si­cally a life­time in Rodgers’ world — to drive for a field goal to tie or a touch­down to win.

Rodgers drove the Pack­ers 75 yards in nine plays for the touch­down — a 12- yard pass to Da­vante Adams with 11 sec­onds to spare.

It’s un­canny how quar­ter­backs such as Rodgers and Tom Brady seem to have a knack for play­ing Jedi mind tricks and mak­ing you play stupid. Vic Fan­gio is one of the best co­or­di­na­tors in the NFL, yet he some­how left un­drafted rookie Cre’Von LeBlanc alone on Jordy Nel­son in a crit­i­cal mo­ment vs. the Pack­ers last year. Of course, LeBlanc was burned for a 60- yard pass that set up the tiebreak­ing field goal at the buzzer.

Gar­rett in­sisted the pri­or­ity is to score. But if Prescott slides at the 1- yard line and runs the clock down, the Cow­boys have a bet­ter chance of scor­ing on two plays from the 1 than they do of stop­ping Rodgers with 63 sec­onds left. As Lovie Smith would say, “It’s as sim­ple as that.” If you give Rodgers a chance to beat you, he usu­ally does.

Pick: Pack­ers 27, Vik­ings 17.

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