Packers Morning Buzz: Cowboys botch process leading to Mike McCarthy's hiring
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with Nancy Armour of USA Today writing that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones botched the coaching search that led to Mike McCarthy's hiring, even if they did end up with the right guy.
Jerry Jones made this way harder than it needed to be.
The Dallas Cowboys owner got the guy he seemingly wanted in new coach Mike McCarthy. But he only sealed it after an excruciatingly drawn-out process that was both painful to watch and beneath a franchise that styles itself as the class of the NFL.
When Jones is wondering why his team can’t win the Super Bowl title he craves so much, he need look no further than this latest bit of dysfunction. ...
As for whether McCarthy is the right coach for the Cowboys, his record will ultimately determine that. On paper, he seems like a good fit. His background is rooted in offense, quarterbacks in particular, and the Cowboys need someone who can take full advantage of their many, many toys.
You can read the entire column here:
McCarthy's hiring set Twitter abuzz:
McCarthy could become the first coach to win a Super Bowl with two different franchises:
The Cowboys made a smart hire going with the former Packers coach, writes Mike Jones of USA Today:
In other news ... hey, it's playoff week in Green Bay! Kevin Seifert of ESPN sizes up the Packers-Seahawks showdown:
How the Seahawks win: Protect Russell Wilson from Packers defensive ends Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith. Wilson's pressure rate this season was an NFL-high 37%, even though that is at least partially due to how long he holds the ball. The Packers' defensive ends, especially Za'Darius Smith, have taken over games against opponents who struggle in pass protection. We know the Seahawks prefer to run the ball (although their run game was pretty ineffective on Sunday against the Eagles), but keeping Wilson clean would be a major boost.
How the Packers win: A resurrection of Playoff Aaron Rodgers. During the regular season, Rodgers was a statistically average quarterback and finished the year ranked No. 20 in QBR (50.7). It wasn't that long ago, however, when we saw him dominate opponents in the postseason. His performances in the 2010 divisional round against the Falcons, Super Bowl XLV and the 2016 divisional round against the Cowboys were transcendent. The Packers have turned "winning ugly" into a motto, but it usually doesn't work that way in the playoffs. They'll need a superior, if not elite-level, game from Rodgers to ensure a victory.
You can read more Packers-Seahawks analysis from Seifert (plus previews of the other three games) here:
The Packers have been installed as a four-point favorite:
Packers coach Matt LaFleur set the tone for his young staff, writes Jim Owczarski:
Packers receiver Allen Lazard followed in his father's footsteps and then made the leap to the NFL, writes Lori Nickel:
The Packers' defense must brace for more Beast Mode:
The Packers' secondary also will be tested:
Rob Reischel writes about how both the Packers and Seahawks excelled in one-score games:
So will Packers fans be rooting for the rival Vikings against top-seeded San Francisco?
Does Kirk Cousins really have a killer instinct?
In San Francisco, overconfidence is seen as a possible problem for the 49ers:
And finally: The Green Bay weather Sunday could feel a little chilly for the Seahawks, but nothing dramatic:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt