By Greg Bintz, Aviator contributor
“Hey everybody, how ’bout ‘dem Cowboys!” was Stephen A. Smith’s reaction on Monday’s edition of ESPN’s First Take. Smith doesn’t like Jerry Jones or his Cowboys in any way shape or form. He, unlike fellow arguer Max Kellerman, predicted that the Cowboys would not go far in the playoffs.
“Since 1996, the Dallas Cowboys have had two playoff wins. Two! Ahhahaha!”
On Monday, Smith went so far as to wear an Aaron Rodgers jersey and was shown celebrating the Packer victory with other Packer fans before going to the studio. As a Packers fan, it was absolutely hilarious to watch. First Take even put out a video on social media that resembled a song about Smith’s reactions about the Cowboys. It topped off everything he said that day.
At some point, though, enough is enough. This is where the Packers choked two years ago (I’m sorry; at least I wasn’t intentionally trying to bring up the subject like Joe Buck did).
The 28-22 OT loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game two years ago will never be forgotten. Blowing a 16-0 halftime lead, special teams and a defense that couldn’t stop anything led to the loss.
However, this game looks brighter. There are a few reasons why:
- The last time Green Bay played Atlanta in both the regular season and postseason (2010), both games were in Atlanta (same scenario as this year), and the Packers went on to barely lose the regular season game and then demolish the Falcons 48-21 in the divisional round. Everything that has happened so far this year is the same as 2010.
- Whether Jordy Nelson plays or not, Rodgers doesn’t need to Discount Double Check who he can throw the ball to. Rodgers completely shredded the Giants secondary with no Nelson for three quarters, and he threw a clutch pass that set up Mason Crosby’s game-winner in Dallas last week. Besides, the Week 8 matchup didn’t feature Jared Cook, Randall Cobb, Ty Montgomery, or Christine Micheal.
- Injuries may help the Packers. Falcons wideout Julio Jones has turf toe, so his ability to play is limited. On the other hand, the Packers (worst scenario, probably won’t happen) may be without Nelson (ribs), Davante Adams (ankle), or Geronmio Allison (hamstring). It may be a game of backups.
On the Jim Rome Show on CBS Sports Radio Thursday afternoon, Rodgers spoke with Rome on the injuries. Rodgers said that there would be “no excuses”, and that the Packers could win without some star players.
Because we can all follow Rodgers’ words (relax and run the table), I’m going with the Packers. It’s not because I’m a Packers fan, it’s because the Packers have hopefully learned from their mistakes from two years ago, and Aaron Rodgers deserves MVP more than anyone else. Rodgers had to go through a disastrous 4-game losing streak and has still managed to put up the same great numbers as Matt Ryan.
Prediction: Packers 38, Atlanta 24. Another demolishing. The Packers will face the Patriots in Super Bowl 51. At least I won’t be the Cowboy fan who claimed the Cowboys would win the Super Bowl and put a tattoo on him that said “Super Bowl LI Champions” with the Cowboy star. Not just yet.
Packers-Falcons. NFC Championship. Final game in the Georgia Dome. No more pressure is welcomed.