ASK THE EXPERT
Packers beat writer Ryan Wood answered questions from readers Monday, following Green Bay’s win over the New York Giants. Read the complete transcript at jsonline.com/packers.
Q: Will the Packers have a new GM this time next year?
A: I’m still sort of leaning toward “no,” but it’s just a guess for anyone right now. I don’t think anybody knows. Maybe not even Mark Murphy.
Q: What would you say to give a pessimistic Packers fan hope for a win on Sunday?
A: The Packers profile exactly like a team that gets hot at the right time and can’t be stopped in the playoffs. We’ve seen it happen many years. Heck, the Packers have seen it happen to them in the past. Doesn’t mean they will make a run to the Super Bowl, but they’re the team nobody wants to play right now. That should give you some hope.
Q: My question is what is the weakness of the Dallas defense that the Packers on offense can exploit?
A: Well, they’re 1st in rushing defense, 26th vs. the pass. So I’d start there. The good thing about what Aaron Rodgers did to the Giants secondary yesterday is the Cowboys secondary isn’t nearly as good. You would think his hot play will continue.
Q: I actually liked the call to go for it on fourth and 1. Too often MM has played too conservative. I like the guts. I just hated the play call. Spread them out and qb sneak or run rip. Or bootleg and get AR on the edge. But don’ t play smash mouth football that doesn’t work. Thoughts?
A: I’m not averse to going for it on fourth down. Again, the issue was there wasn’t much reward. Even if you convert, you still haven’t even crossed midfield. Your defense is controlling the game, you have an 8-point lead in the second half, and you can pin a bad Giants defense deep. That’s what needs to be done.
Q: If Beckham catches half the throws he had a shot at and Cook catches the pass before the Hail Mary that would have ended the half the Packers are down quite a bit . Maybe 14-7 or worse. They should be lucky some things went their way early or the outcome may have been very different.
A: Well, yeah. Welcome to the playoffs. That’s how it goes. I seem to remember an onside kick recovery in Seattle two years ago. Luck is a real part of any playoff run.
Q: I’m worried about Jason Witten, (Dallas’ ) TE. He’s their go-to guy. Your thoughts?
A: I think you’ll see Morgan Burnett on Jason Witten, and that could be a good matchup both ways. Remember, Burnett had that interception against Jimmy Graham against Seattle. And Witten, of course, is a future Hall of Famer. It’ll be fun to watch.