3. Create big plays in the passing game
Pro-Football-Reference has an awesome feature in their review box scores. They chart completions and attempts by each region of the field for each team, down to the receiver. This is helpful as we look at the Green Bay defense facing offenses with similarities to Dallas.
The goal was to find an offense that succeeded against the Green Bay secondary (not necessarily won the game) and then select a box score. Week 15 at home against Atlanta works pretty well. It was the second to last Monday night game of 2014.
Julio Jones made a series of ridiculous catches in the thin, chilly Green Bay air. This game applies well since Dez Bryant is a player of similar ability to Jones, and similarly is surrounded by other receivers who can make plays.
Either way, what we see is that eighth ranked passing defense, in terms of yards per attempt, was actually rather fragile against a Falcons offense which featured a dominant weapon like Jones.
What we see when we scroll down about a third of the way, is that Atlanta took nine deep shots in that contest, with Jones the target of all but one of them. Two-thirds (six) were thrown to Atlanta’s left (Green Bay’s right) for three completions, 59 yards and a touchdown.
The two that were targeted over the middle were both caught for a combined 54 yards, and the one to the offense’s right completed for a 79-yard explosive play.
Dez Bryant averages 15.0 yards per catch, and 9.7 per target. Meanwhile, Terrance Williams, who had the long 76-yard play on the slant against Detroit, averages 16.6 per catch and 9.4 per target.
The Cowboys have to look to throw it deep in this game.
Next: Defense matters too