Packers vs. Falcons – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: Packers 25, Falcons 14

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Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesGreen Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons:

Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons:

Here is my unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

The Packers steamrolled the Falcons in the divisional round of the playoffs last season. Much to the amusement of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, Atlanta WR Roddy White has hinted that the Falcons were actually the better team. This one should be a lot of fun.

Inactive for the Packers today are:

CB Davon House, S Nick Collins, LB Frank Zombo, T Brian Bulaga, TE Andrew Quarless, DE Mike Neal, LB Vic So’oto.

Falcons DE John Abraham (hip) is out. That’s a significant loss for Atlanta.

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

When I pulled up the 620 WTMJ streaming window, the Brewers postgame show was still going on. No summary of McCarthy’s pregame interview in this space tonight.

Packers vs. Falcons – First Impressions – First Half:

Hawk gets dragged three yards by Turner on the second play of the game. Hawk just doesn’t look explosive at all this season.

Turner’s lower body should have its own zip code. It’s massive.

I said in our predictions post that getting off the field on 3rd down is key to this game. Not a good start at all on that first drive. And where exactly was Woodson going on White’s TD catch?

Grant fumbles. Can’t remember the last time that happened.

Tacklers bouncing off Turner, the Falcons controlling the clock, the Packers turning the ball over during a nice drive…this looks an awful lot like last year’s regular season loss to the Falcons.

Hawk couldn’t even slow Turner down on the TD dive. There’s just no explosiveness there. He looks sluggish.

Clifton goes down with a hamstring injury. Not a good situation when both of your starting tackles are out.

I prefer Crabtree over Williams as the blocking back in passing situations.

Slocum needs to teach Cobb how to signal for a fair catch.

On the 3rd and 12 at the end of the half, I told my wife there’s no way Rodgers will stand in the pocket and look to the end zone. I thought it would be a dumpoff pass followed by a field goal. Of course, Rodgers stands in the pocket and hits Finley at the goal line. And Finley dropped the pass. Doh!

Second Half:

The Falcons ran a good number of tricky reverses and screens in the first half. Lets see if the Packers wise up to those types of plays and make the Falcons take them on straight up.

Big stop by the Packers defense. I’m thinking the Falcons take some shots downfield their next possession. Packers are keying on the run now.

Crosby nails a 57-yard field goal. Then he turns to the camera and says “Take that, Jersey Al.” In all seriousness, McCarthy took a huge risk going for the field goal and it paid off. Nice work.

Shields gets physical and wins the battle with Jones downfield. Very impressive. The DBs need to step up because there is very little pass rush coming from the front seven.

Touchdown Jones! Jones has played well since talking about his lack of playing time. Finley…not so much. He needs to come down with that 2-point conversion pass.

Nice slide Matt Ryan. God forbid you try and pick up a first down. Ryan should not be allowed on the team bus tonight. He should have to walk home.

So someone finally taught Cobb how to signal for a fair catch, he gets popped anyway, and there’s no flag? Lame.

Rodgers connects with Cobb and has thrown to 12 different receivers. This offense is humming as the third quarter ends.

Some serious YAC on that TD catch by Jennings.

McCarthy with a good challenge and the Falcons have to punt. Now put this game away, offense!

Finley with another drop. The Falcons are able to hang around.

Bishop with a sack and Matthews with pressure on the next play results in an interception. NOW put this game away.

The Packers have two backup tackles in the game and still are able to run the ball and kill the clock.

Crosby’s FG should be the dagger.

Bush’s interception is the dagger. The ball bounced off Roddy White’s hands. I wonder if he still thinks the Falcons are the better team?

Great win for the Packers tonight. A ballsy win. Things not going your way early, Clifton goes down, Finley dropped a few passes and you still find a way to win. This team still has some holes to plug, but 5-0 sure feels good.

Oh, one more thing: Nice work Sherrod and Newhouse. The next man up philosophy is still in effect in 2011.

Oh, and one more thing: Big second half by the defense. Hopefully it carries over into next week.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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  • BTF

    Fantastic win. Overcoming adversity is definitely a hallmark of this team and it is fantastic to see.

    The D as you say took a huge step up in the 2nd half. Shields was excellent in coverage.

    Sherrod and Newhouse were superb, James Jones had a huge game and Rodgers there just are not words…

    On DJ Williams saw the whiff in pass pro but I think he will get there eventually. He had a good block on a screen and a great chip on his catch. Talking of which 12 different recievers. That’s just crazy…

  • Blair Patterson

    Watching the beginning of this game was humbling and scary. It seemed like the world was crashing in on Rodgers after Cliftons injury and surprisingly Mike McCarthy kept trying to run. I understand that that their is about no time for Rodgers to get a pass off but let him lead the team. That’s exactly what happened and it was not a pretty win but I’ll take 5-0. Hopefully Detroit loses tomorrow night so the Packers can be the only undefeated team in the NFL but more importantly (right now anyway) of the NFC North. The Packers better go 7-0 into the bye. And is Rodgers amazing or what? Easily the front runner for the MVP early in the season.

    • Adam Czech

      Rodgers is the best player in football right now.

  • http://none GalaxyM81

    Rodgers is the best! The D shows up in the second half. Hey Al: did you notice every time the safety came down to the line of scrimage, Ryan was changing the play and I think this kept the falcons O off balance in the second half. Why didn’t Capers do this in the first half? When our D plays aggressively, the O on the other team has real problems. I hope our D learned something from this.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      I’m back from my ATV trip in one piece. I did get to watch the game. Good observation, but Ryan was doing it from the first play. Ryan was reading the Packers D and changing plays accordingly the first two series with great success. Packers started giving him false looks, let Ryan change the play and then caught him in their trap. Masterful Capers…

  • Adam Czech

    Al is off driving ATVs through the mud in the middle of nowhere. I wrote this week’s initial thoughts.

    Good observation on the safety. It’s just been sort of a weird vibe on defense this year. It’s almost like they’re not kicking it into high gear. That finally changed after the first quarter tonight.

    • jOe

      Three guys I wasn’t very fond of all had a good night. Crosby, Jones and Bush. Way to go Pack. Way to go defense.

  • homerunsimpson

    stil not enough pressure up front… but it was good that the falcons abandoned the run game at the second half. that said, our D stepped up. still, id hate to go against the lions D line w/ 2 backup tackles

  • Bearmeat

    Best win of the year. If the D can take this progress forward we’ll be real tough to beat all year… and Sherrod/Newhouse = +1.

    Crosby +1
    Rodgers +1000

    • Bearmeat

      Now if we can just get a consistent pass rush….

      • Adam Czech

        Matthews is getting close.

  • Wagszilla

    Half way to 10-0, my friends.

    Derek Sherrod = baptism by fire?
    Didn’t look great but improved as the game went on.

  • Russell

    Sherrod looks better on the right side than the left side. Packers most impressive win of the year.

  • Adam Czech

    Sherrod seems like he needs to get a little stronger. I thought he filled in admirably last night, though.

    • BTF

      Give him a full off season and he’ll be just fine IMO. Newhouse and even to a certain extent Bulaga seem to have taken big leaps from year 1 to year 2.

      I’d have been happy for Sherrod not to see the field all year as it happens he was forced in and as you say did admirably. The Packers future at tackle appears bright with 3 classy young tackles. Who’d have thought it 2 years ago…

  • Rick

    Can someone help me out here. Cobb calls for a fair catch, gets blasted, and then the foul is against the Packers for illegal change of possession? Were the refs serious?

  • Adam Czech

    Cobb signaled for the fair catch a little late. That could be why. McCarthy said the coming onto the field early penalty was on him. Packers had been warned already twice.

    • Steve Cheez

      The guy was at least ten yards away when Cobb’s arm went up

  • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

    I still believe what I said when teh Packers drafted Sherrod. In another year or two, he will be the starting left tackle. He needed OTAs and camp reps more than Bulaga did, and didn’t get them. Thus his progression has been a bit delayed.

    Newhouse will make an excellent backup at both tackle spots once Bulaga and Sherrod are the bookends.