The Green Bay Packers (8-4) are at the top of the NFC North. The Dallas Cowboys (4-8) are at the bottom of the NFC East. Believe it or not, but both teams will be fighting to keep their dream of a division title alive at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
Will Green Bay take care of business at home, or will Dallas come through with a surprise upset on the road?
Here are three keys to the game for both the Cowboys and the Packers.
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1.Blitz the A gap
The Packers are beat up along the offensive line with injuries on the interior and at the tackle positions. In Week 13, they started the game without top guard T.J. Lang and later lost center Corey Linsley to an ankle injury. Although it sounds like the Packers could be getting Lang back this week, the Cowboys would be wise to test the interior. Using the single and double A-gap blitz with linebackers Rolando McClain and Sean Lee is one way to generate a ton of pressure through the middle.
2. Get Dez Bryant more targets
For a while, it looked like Bryant wasn't himself on the field as he worked his way back from a broken foot he suffered earlier in the season. In Week 13, after 10 days off following the Thanksgiving game, Bryant was his old self. He displayed his trademark ability to win deep when he set up a game-tying field goal after a 42-yard reception on a go route. Bryant finished with just six targets in total on the night, and if the Cowboys want to jumpstart the offense, he will need to see double-digit targets every week.
3. Condense the field for Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay's passing game is not the same in 2015. You can blame it on the offensive line, Jordy Nelson's injury or Randall Cobb's struggles; any way you cut it, they have issues moving the ball through the air. Rodgers has manufactured a passing game with screen passes and quick-breaking routes over the middle, but he has struggled to connect with his receivers on the outside and over the top of coverage. The Cowboys should use a lot of press coverage. The safeties should stay in the middle of the field and the cornerbacks should use inside leverage.
1. Give Eddie Lacy another chance to shine
Packers running back Eddie Lacy let the team down when his lack of focus led to a five-carry outing against the Lions last week. Head coach Mike McCarthy said Lacy has come back "rejuvenated" from that poor performance, so Green Bay might give him another chance to shine against the Cowboys this weekend. If the Packers let their burly back touch the ball close to 20 times, he could provide a third 100-yard outing in four weeks.
2. Target Richard Rodgers more than any wideout
Green Bay's wide receivers are not getting the job done. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers turned to tight end Richard Rodgers last week, and the results were glorious. He led the team with eight catches for 146 yards, including a 61-yard Hail Mary to win the game. The Packers currently have the 23rd-ranked passing offense, but they can take the Cowboys by surprise if the Rodgers-to-Rodgers connection is on point in Week 14.
3. Create a couple crucial turnovers
For once, the Packers don't have one of the NFL's most potent offenses. A couple turnovers will help kick start the slumping unit, though. Green Bay isn't great at creating takeaways (15, tied for 22nd in NFL), but Dallas will likely give away a few gifts. Only two teams have turned the ball over more than the Cowboys this season, so the Packers must be ready to pounce whenever they come across a loose ball or an errant pass.