The Atlanta Falcons sure looked like they’d be the next test for the Green Bay Packers in what was supposed to be the easiest schedule in the NFL entering the 2016 season. With Atlanta getting jobbed on a no-call of Pass Interference by Richard Sherman on Julio Jones in the waning seconds of a 26-24 loss in Seattle AND what can only be described as a choke v San Diego, the Falcons’ record (4-3) could easily be 6-1 and a major matchup. However, with consecutive losses, with the latest coming against an average San Diego team, the Packers have a better shot at heading into the Georgia dome and contending with the high-powered Falcons offense.
Again, I don’t believe this Packers team is great, or can be great with the current makeup of the GM, Head Coach, and QB combination, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK for them to continue looking like they’re stuck in neutral on offense. The Falcons defense isn’t loaded with great talent, but possess a great defensive-minded head coach in Dan Quinn (formerly Seattle’s defensive coordinator) and will likely approach the stale McCarthy-led offense in the same manner the Cowboys and Giants did, as was laid out by the Broncos last year – show up in a 4-3 defense (4 defensive linemen, 3 linebackers), play man coverage and only rush 3 to 4 defenders. The idea is to keep Rodgers in the pocket and not have him make a quick decision…it’s a recipe for success, sadly. It’ll be interesting to see if Green Bay continues to use Ty Montgomery in the same fashion they did last Thursday night v Chicago.
POTENTIAL NIGHTMARE – If you have Julio Jones on your fantasy team, expect a lot of points. Julio Jones, with megatron retired, is the most-gifted and physically built WR in the NFL. He’s a 6’3” 220lb matchup problem that ran a 4.39 forty-yard dash at the combine (and doesn’t seem to have slowed any since). With the Packers’ top 3 cornerbacks possibly out, the pass rush for Green Bay must get home, and get home fast if they have any visions of slowing down Julio (who earlier this year had a 300-yard game).
The major issue is this Packers offense, if it hasn’t been talked about enough already, and seems to need gimmicks and every play in the book just to get 1-2 drives to move the ball…all in all I’m not too optimistic with this matchup. Hopefully Aaron can duplicate his production from the playoff game in Jan 2011 and light up the scoreboard in Atlanta, but I won’t hold my breath.
*13-11, with obvious hopes of going 13-12 after this game :)*