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Game recap: 5 takeaways from Packers' wild-card playoff victory over Cowboys

Offense lights up scoreboard in QB Jordan Love’s playoff debut

RB Aaron Jones
RB Aaron Jones

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Packers jumped on the Cowboys early and eventually built an insurmountable lead, knocking off Dallas 48-32 in the NFC Wild Card playoffs on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

Here are five takeaways from the impressive triumph:

  1. The Packers are ignoring the doubters.

A No. 7 seed beat a No. 2 seed for the first time in the four years of this playoff format, but it wasn't just those numbers that spoke to the Packers' attitude.

They weren't given much of a chance by the national experts in this one, and while they heard all the chatter, they ignored it at the same time.

"We've been counted out a lot of the season, but everybody keeps battling, keeps competing," quarterback Jordan Love said.

"I think it's just noise on the outside. We're not worried about it. We keep coming out here and showing what we're about, and that's what we're going to do."

No one would've guessed by their play the Packers are the youngest team in the playoffs in about 50 years, but that's become sort of the point.

"I think there's a little bit of freedom with that, in terms of how you go out and play," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said of the lack of expectations outside their own team. "These guys, they went for it, and that's exciting to see."

  1. The final score didn't do the dominance justice.

When safety Darnell Savage raced the other way with a pick-six off Dak Prescott late in the second quarter, the Packers were up 27-0.

They eventually pushed the lead to 48-16 before the Cowboys scored two late touchdowns.

The performance was as dominant as it gets, starting with an opening-drive touchdown that took nearly eight minutes off the clock.

An interception by cornerback Jaire Alexander, who was a game-time decision with an ankle injury, set up the second score in the first quarter and the Packers were on their way.

"It feels great," Love said. "I'm trying to hide some smiles. It's a party in the locker room right now. It feels great, that's all I can really say."

  1. Love couldn't have played any better in his first playoff start.

Until throwing an incomplete pass with just over two minutes left when the Packers were trying to get one last first down, Love had a maximum 158.3 passer rating, which obviously would've tied the NFL playoff record.

Instead, he finished 16-of-21 for 272 yards with three TDs and a 157.2 rating.

"It started up front, started with the run game, pass protection, the O-line stepped up big," Love said. "Guys were out there making plays."

None more than Love, who was making the Cowboys pay anytime they blitzed, selling play fakes to get throwing lanes on the edges, and timing his passes as his receivers broke into open spaces downfield.

"Man, Jordan Love, wow, that's about all I can say, is wow," LaFleur said. "What he did and the poise he shows and the command he shows …"

Check out photos from the NFC Wild Card playoff matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024.