Intriguing Game- Week 8
Green Bay Packers (4-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-3)
Packers: With them winning last week against the Bears and the Vikings suffering their first loss of the season, the Packers gained some ground in the NFC North, but moving forward, I want to see what their offense can do. Coming into the year I said Eddie Lacy was their biggest x-factor because if he can provide some balance and establish things in the running game, this will do wonders for Aaron Rodgers and those receivers. Lacy is now hurt and last week, Rodgers completed a team-record 39 passes on 56 attempts. Numbers like that won’t get you to the Super Bowl let alone a win in the playoffs. Unfortunately, he’ll have to take games over with his arm. Next to their game against the Lions this year, this was the best I’ve seen the Packers offense look after piling up 406 total yards. The offensive line gave Rodgers time to throw in the pocket and they controlled the football for almost 40 minutes. They’ll look to keep that momentum going with a trip to the Georgia Dome and they’ll need a repeat performance on offense especially since they are facing a Falcons team that’s been nothing short of spectacular in 2016.
Falcons: Just a few weeks ago, we were all having a different outlook and tone about the Atlanta Falcons. At one point, they had back to back games against the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, the two teams that were in Super Bowl 50 and they were 4-1. The game in Seattle was a tough one because Julio Jones was held and I questioned those refs heavily in that game. Last week was a much different story against the San Diego Chargers. They cruised in the first half and had a 17-point lead. When the second half came and they gave up and let the Chargers back into the game and it would end up going into overtime. I was in between with Dan Quinn and his decision to go for it on 4th down in OT. I liked the aggression he showed and he wanted to keep the football, what coach wouldn’t in that situation? Why I wasn’t on the same page with him was where the Falcons had the ball at that time and they turned it over on downs and gave a really good Chargers offense excellent field position and they capitalized on it and won the game. That’s two tough losses after such a hot start and they’ll need to regroup fast with the Packers in town on Sunday.
Packers Player To Watch: Ty Montgomery– The injury bug has decimated the Green Bay Packers running backs. They did sign Knile Davis but he’ll probably return punts again. This will have to be the x-factor for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. He’s a running back that was a former receiver and the Packers can get him out in space and create mismatches across the board with the Falcons linebackers.
Falcons Player To Watch: Jacob Tamme– The Packers biggest weakness as it would be with most teams has been stopping the tight end and I look for the Falcons to use that to their advantage. The passing game will be in full effect against a Packers secondary that will more than likely be without three of their best guys in the backend. I like Tamme to be used quite a bit on third down situations and over the middle of the field.
Prediction: It will be key that Matt Ryan stays true to himself and he doesn’t try to match score for score with Aaron Rodgers. If I’m the Falcons, I’m getting my running game going which will be a challenge because the Packers have been great at shutting down the run. I’m really interested to see how the Packers will try to defend Julio Jones who had a big game against them when these two teams last met. I like the Packers on the road in this. Packers 38 Falcons 27