AP NEWS

Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys

January 11, 2017

Bing Predicts winner: Cowboys (51 percent)Opening line: DAL -4Kickoff time: 4:40 p.m. EST (Sunday)In the closest prediction Bing has made this season, the Cowboys get the slightest of nods in what should be the best game of the postseason so far. In one corner, we have the league’s most balanced offense, featuring four first-team All-Pro selections and the league’s No. 3 quarterback based on passer rating. Dallas also boasts the NFL’s fifth-best scoring defense and one of the league’s most dynamic linebackers in Sean Lee, another first-team All-Pro selection.And in the other corner, there’s Aaron Rodgers. A 42-24 Week 11 loss to the Redskins dropped Green Bay to 4-6, with many in the national media calling the team flat-out terrible. The Packers haven’t lost a game since, winning their last seven games (including last week’s Wild Card win over the Giants).During that stretch, Rodgers has been simply unstoppable. From Week 11 through the Wild Card round, Rodgers has completed 167 of 240 pass attempts (69.6 percent) for 2,029 yards, 19 touchdowns and no interceptions. Against the Giants last week, who had the league’s second-best scoring defense during the regular season, Rodgers was a magician in the pocket, and he pulled off another Hail Mary score to end the first half. Even without Jordy Nelson for most of the game, who suffered two broken ribs on a brutal hit along the sideline, Rodgers routinely extended plays and found open receivers all over the place. The Packers’ 38 points were the most New York had given up all season. Rodgers’ 125.2 passer rating was the highest for a Giants’ opposing quarterback since Week 8 of the 2015 season, when Drew Brees put up a 131.7 rating while throwing seven touchdowns.Though Rodgers is deservedly the headliner for the Packers’ turnaround, the Green Bay defense deserves credit as well. The Packers allowed 27.6 points per game through Week 11. Since then, teams are scoring just 17.9 points per game against them, though much of the damage has come against bad offenses like Houston, Chicago and Minnesota. Back in Week 6, the Cowboys scored 30 points in Green Bay, but that game probably feels like it was a lifetime ago for the Packers.The Cowboys have essentially been on cruise control all season, and the last competent offense the Packers faced on the road (Washington) scored 42 points on them. Green Bay is the team no one wants to face right now, which makes this call so difficult. But Dallas has the rushing attack to take control of this game early on, and you get the feeling that Rodgers has to maintain his current other-worldly form for the Packers to win on the road. No one will be shocked if Rodgers stays hot, but given such a small margin for error, we’ll lock in our pick with Dallas advancing to the NFC Championship Game.