Predictions: Packers vs. Falcons
Monty: I tend the think the Atlanta Falcons are overrated. I know quarterback Matt Ryan is overrated.
When the Green Bay Packers went into the Georgia Dome last season and ripped the Falcons a new asshole in the playoffs I wasn’t surprised.
This team has one legitimate star in receiver Roddy White. The Falcons have a potential star in receiver Julio Jones. They have a few players that are pretty good, including running back Michael Turner. That’s about it.
The Falcons went 13-3 last season, but are a mediocre 2-2 this year. Their problems?
Poor offensive line play and their defense can’t stop the pass.
Atlanta has given up 13 sacks this season — only six teams have surrendered more. Their pass defense is ranked 24th in the league and is giving up an average of 275 yards per game.
Well, guess who’s coming to town? A guy who threw for more than 400 yards last week.
The Falcons are talking a big game. They want to avenge last season’s embarrassment. They’re going to be fired up.
I don’t give a shit. The Falcons are pretenders.
Matt Ryan can suck my balls. I hope B.J. Raji takes his stupid-looking head off.
Packers 28, Falcons 17
Shawn: The Falcons made some curious decisions in response to the ass whoopin’ the Packers put on them in the playoffs. Instead of shoring up a defense that left them helpless, feckless and clueless, they decided to go the other way and try to put together an offense that could beat the Packers at their own game.
The obvious problem with this strategy is that Matt Ryan is not Aaron Rodgers. He’s certainly a capable franchise QB, but there’s a big difference between a guy that can reliably manage the game and a big time QB who can consistently carry an offense on his arm.
The Falcons have been miserable on the road this season, for the most part. They have a disastrous loss to Chicago, a somewhat pathetic loss to Tampa Bay, and a near loss to the worst team in football in Seattle.
Usually this is a different team at home, though. Their offense was somewhat impressive in their victory against the Eagles in their lone home game this season. They had a tough time protecting Ryan, who at least proved he can take a hit.
Fortunately for Falcons, their inability to stop the pass rush may not cost them much against a Packers defense that’s been fairly average at getting after the quarterback.
The Falcons can pull off the upset and get the revenge they seek if they can run the football and win the turnover battle. They can’t afford to put their entire offense on Ryan’s shoulders. The Packers have too many playmakers on defense, and Rodgers has more weapons at his disposal.
The Falcons can’t afford to let Rodgers play anywhere close to how he played in the playoffs. If that happens, forget it.
Atlanta can do it if the Packers let down, but the safe money is on the Pack.
For all the problems Atlanta had with the Packers offense last season, they didn’t face Jerimichael Finley either time. That doesn’t bode well for them. I think the Falcons can score enough in the first half to keep it close, but they fail to keep up in the second half.
Packers 45, Falcons 27
Sarah: God help a Falcons secondary that made Tarvaris Jackson look good last weekend.
Aaron Rodgers is poised to have another field day against another mediocre defense, as the Packers head to Atlanta for a repeat of last season’s playoff matchup. The Falcons have been gunning for this game since January, drafting Julio Jones and signing Ray Edwards in the offseason, but they’ve only gotten worse, not better, and are running their mouths like the sore, bitter losers they proved themselves to be last season.
“Matty Ice” has a couple solid weapons with Jones and Roddy White streaking down the field, posing some problems for the Packers’ anemic secondary, but once again, they can’t match up to the Packers’ lights out offense and the incredible numbers Rodgers is putting up.
Going back to the playoffs, Rodgers’ stats through eight games look something like this: 193-of-273, 70.7 percent completion rate, 2,419 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Yeah. Atlanta has only lit a fire under Rodgers’ ass with some of their stupid comments this week. It’s lights out again for the Dirty Birds.
Packers 31, Falcons 20