Packers/Falcons Preview

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  • All week, up until now, I was worried that this would be a really dangerous game. I knew the weather might be iffy (snow, rain, sleet mix is forecast), but I was also worried because Atlanta has been a really difficult team to figure out this year. After starting 2-1, they lost 5 games in a row (3 of which were to really weak teams). And then since their bye weak, they have won 3 of 4. Last week’s victory against a game Arizona Cardinals team (a surprisingly easy win) should serve notice that the Falcons are a team capable of making this a game. Throw in there the fact that they have a good QB (not an elite QB), one of the best WRs in the game in Julio Jones and another good one in Roddy White and there is at least reason to be concerned. (Though it should be noted that last week’s triumph over Arizona is their only win against a decent team – unless you count the Week 1 win over the wildly inconsistent Saints.)
  • That said, this game won’t be close for one reason – Atlanta’s defense is horrible. Yes, they slowed down Arizona last week but Arizona’s offense is actually not that good (ranked toward the bottom in yards per game anyway – playing with a backup QB…though I do think Stanton is as good as Palmer). And, of course it was a home game. Anyway, Atlanta’s defense ranks dead last in the NFL giving up 403 yards per game. They are very, very bad. That D against Rodgers and our offense, even if our offense is mediocre and their D plays OK (and Hester has two TD returns) – shouldn’t be close.
  • I expect the game to play out like this. I think there will be some concerning moments early on when Ryan and Julio in particular get things going. Stephen Jackson will probably have a decent game early because he’ll be running angry against the NFL’s 6th worst rushing defense. He’s also still probably sore that the Pack didn’t pick him up when he was available in recent years (he really wanted to play here). And we could struggle to contain Jaquizz Rodgers on 3rd downs. Anyway, I think the Atlanta offense will make things difficult for the first quarter. But beyond that I think they will be playing catch up and the Atlanta D just won’t be able to slow down Rodgers and the Pack.
  • If Matt Flynn were starting this game, I would be nervous but I actually would still think we’d have a chance. With Aaron Rodgers playing the way he’s playing, I just don’t think it will be close.
  • I was more nervous about this game all week but for some reason, I suddenly just don’t think this will be a good game at all (at least for Falcons fans/the networks). Packers 40, Falcons 16.

2 Responses to “Packers/Falcons Preview”

  1. Dave K Says:

    The Falcons should have beaten the Lions also if not for some terrible clock management at the end of their game five weeks ago. They had a 21 point lead at half and just gave the game away in the 4th quarter. That would have made wins in four out of the last five games. So, they certainly are looking better then they were earlier in the season.

    Good up tempo offense at times. The offense plays much better at home then away. Poor defense. (most of the time) The Packers should absolutely win this game unless they put the ball on the ground multiple times. I just can’t see the Falcons hanging with Rodgers and the offense unless the offense gives them a few extra possessions via turnover.

    I think MM is priming the pump for playoff football. Lacy and Starks get a ton of work and controls the clock which limits number of points that the Packers score. Red zone issues of last week fade away. Packers 35, Falcons 24.

  2. Dave In Tucson Says:

    I wouldn’t read too much into the Falcons win over the Cardinals. The Cards are not a quick score team. Their biggest come backs this year are 11 down (week 1 vs. the Chargers) and 10 down (week 9 vs the Cowboys). Note both of those were with Carson Palmer. Drew Stanton

    That meant the Cards were in deep trouble when the Falcons built up an early 17 point lead. The Cardinals actually outscored the Falcons 18-12 the rest of the way, but the damage was already done at that point.

    My key to victory is simple: get out in front of these guys early. The Falcons are not at all a come-from-behind team, and they are 1-7 when their opponent scores 22+ points on them (that one win coming in week 1 against the Saints and their bad defense).

    My main concern for this game is that they would overlook the Falcons as an easy win. Hopefully with the division, a bye week, and quite possibly the number one seed within reach, they will take care of business tonight, and have this thing put away by halftime.

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