Tom Oates: Packers receive overall grade of ‘B+’ for last-minute win over Cowboys

October 9, 2017 GMT

Offense: A-

Green Bay scored on five of its seven possessions. Quick and instinctive, Aaron Jones gave Green Bay its first 100-yard rusher this season. Aaron Rodgers is the master of the 2-minute drill. And to think, some said he wasn’t clutch. Davante Adams’ winning touchdown capped a remarkable comeback from a concussion.

Defense: D+

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott were too much for a wounded defense. Dallas had touchdown drives on all three first-half possessions and another one late, but Green Bay made just enough plays to win. Damarious Randall’s pick-six was the type of game-turning play Green Bay hoped for when it drafted him.

Special teams: C-

Reliable Mason Crosby missed his first two extra points, which loomed large throughout the game. The hold looked shaky on the second one. Justin Vogel boomed a 59-yard punt in the final quarter and Jeff Janis stopped the returner for a 1-yard loss, pinning Dallas at the 12. That set up Randall’s pick-six.

Coaching: B-

Trailing by 6 in the third quarter, Mike McCarthy went for it on fourth-and-1 near midfield and struck gold when Jones ran for 10 yards. Twice in the second half the defense got caught with 10 men on the field, yielding Elliott’s 25-yard run the first time, wasting a timeout on the second. That’s inexcusable.

Overall: B+

Sometimes the magnitude of the victory outweighs the quality of the performance. By beating Dallas in its stadium for the second time in 2017, the Packers established a dominance over the Cowboys. Things looked ugly in the first half, but the Packers offense showed genuine grit in coming from behind to win.