I think many thought it would be closer than the blowout that ensued immediately following the opening kick. However, I don’t think anyone was shocked…sadly. With that stated, the Packers really had more to gain than to lose heading into Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium (which is pretty cool looking). No one really expected Green Bay to win, but had they – man that would’ve shown this team might be the best in the NFL.
Rodgers didn’t play well, he took blame for 14 points on his two turnovers, which is absolutely correct. In a game like that, in that environment, where the Falcons play above their heads when home, the Packers need their stars to play well (let alone play). Nelson and Daniels going out early essentially sealed the Packers’ fate, but it did lead to us being able to see a few things.
My man, Josh Jones, eventually was put on the field for defense once Kentrell Brice was injured (I also like Brice, but if given the choice, it’s not close) the defense actually held Atlanta to a 3 & out. I believe that coincided with Kevin King being inserted at the #1 Cornerback to cover the best receiver on the planet (Julio Jones). King fared quite well, having 1 defensed pass and altered another. He only was turned around once, fortunately Matt Ryan didn’t throw his direction at the time.
Let’s enter the lowly Cincinnati Bengals. On the 25th anniversary of Brett Favre making his awesome Packer debut v Cincy the Packers welcome that same team in, except the Bengals are on a sharp decline ever since their playoff malfunction in the 2015 postseason v Pittsburgh (Burfict and Pacman kept committing personal fouls that killed Cincy).
Even though the Bengals haven’t scored a touchdown this year – they since fired their offensive coordinator – their defense has fared well against bad offenses, or at least we think “bad.” There is absolutely one player on their defense everyone should keep an eye on: 97 Geno Atkins (DL). He’s been a force for his entire career and is coming off two good games to start the season. If the Packers’ OL is beat up that could be the Bengals opportunity to mess this game up. Other than that, I don’t see how Marvin Lewis’ club can come into Lambeau (91 degrees???) and knock off one of the most-talented teams in the NFL, in need of a win. The Packers outrank Cincinnati at every position except GB’s OL v Cin’s DL, but Aaron Rodgers should be able to get a free play or two and keep them off-balance enough to move the ball down the field – look at it this way, if Green Bay can’t put up 30 points at home, in ideal conditions against a good defense then What are we really trying to accomplish here?
24-15: The Packers have an opportunity to get two quick wins and get healthy before a matchup with Dallas in a couple of weeks. Yes, it’s ok to look ahead, we’re fans 🙂