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Zielinski: Packers will have tough time keeping Elliott in check

Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2016

Through five weeks of the 2016-17 NFL season, the Green Bay Packers (3-1) have had only one major test, which came Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings on the road, with the Packers losing 17-14.

Now in Week 6, the Packers face their next significant challenge in the Dallas Cowboys (4-1). This will be a matchup between the NFL’s top run defense in the Packers versus the Cowboys running attack that features rookie Ezekiel Elliott, who has an NFL-high 546 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

The Cowboys have two rookies in prominent positions offensively – Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott -- but that hasn’t slowed them down. The Cowboys rank eighth in points scored (129) and second in average time of possession (33 minutes, 49 seconds). Dallas’ defense also ranks eighth in points allowed (91).

Meanwhile, Green Bay’s offense has continued to struggle and isn’t as potent as it once was earlier in the Mike McCarthy era. With Eddie Lacy banged up and other contributors out, the Packers offense might have another tough day.

Field-position and the turnover battle will be key in this close Sunday afternoon game. If the Packers can stop Elliot and keep him under 100 yards, they will win. I don’t see that.

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Packers 17

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