Packers vs. Falcons – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 22 ATL 21

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Packers TJ Lang hustling his ass off. on interception return - Atlanta.
TJ Lang hustling his ass off.

Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons:  2013 Game 13

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

GAME NOTES:

Evan Dietrich Smith is playing, which means the Packers can prevent the OL shuffle, which has not worked out well at all. Even better, Marshall Newhouse reported with flu symptoms, so Derek Sherrod will be the first tackle off the bench, if needed.

Matt Flynn get the call again at QB, despite a dismal performance last week against the Lions.

Snowing in Green Bay – perfect football weather and a great welcome for the 3-9 Falcons.

 

Today’s captains for the Packers: – James Jones, Clay Matthews and Jarrett Bush

 

Inactives for today’s game:

 

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
12 QB Aaron Rodgers
13 WR Chris Harper
22 RB Kahlil Bell
51 LB Nate Palmer
74 T Marshall Newhouse
98 DE C.J. Wilson
99 DE Jerel Worthy

10 QB Matt Flynn will start for Rodgers.

Atlanta Falcons
30 RB Josh Vaughn
36 S Kemal Ishmael
53 LB Omar Gaither
69 G Harland Gunn
74 T Terren Jones
77 T Sean Locklear
92 DT Travian Robertson

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Weather: Smells like Green Bay Packer football. Importance of the game is evident to us all.

Game plan for weather: You have to look at the whole picture. You have to look at the field – it was beat up a little after the Vikings game. the wind will be a factor.

EDS: Evan responded very well to the rehab. Everyone felt really good about his workout yesterday. he says he feels great and he’s ready to go.

Time off: Definitely helped. Our energy level is as high as it had been in quite some time. There’s a different energy about ourselves this week and it has to show up today,.

Flynn:  A liittle up and down this week in practice but I thought Friday was the best day he’s had since he’s been here.

Decline of Defense: Energy and finish is what we focused on. Schematically we’re fine. Frankly, we need to get off the damn block and tackle the football.

Atlanta: Good football team going through a lot of challenges. They’re playing some young guys. Frankly, I’m going to focus on our own football team and what we’re going through.

Gonzalez: From day one you copuld see he was a gifted young man and he had that work ethic that is really imptressive,

Ability, accountability, availability: I’ve taken a lesses ability player with a lot of availability over

Practice outside: Field was too wet on Wednesday. We got out Friday, good wind, so I felt good we were able to get out there.

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Packers vs. Falcons – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win toss and defer.

Falcons using the short passing game effectively.

But, they do the Packers a favor and look deep on third and two. Punt team on…

Flynn getting time to throw, but having trouble finding open receivers. Doesn’t mean they’re not open, he’s just not going through his progressions and  finding them.

Love the patience Lacy has in letting the blocks develop.

Lacy with the goal line spin move for a TD. Loving it!

Quarter end with each team having only one possession. Packers went 90 yds in 9 minutes, mostly behind Eddie Lacy. Old time football here so far…

Score at end of 1st quarter:    GB 7 Atl 0

It would be great if the Packers could actually hold onto this lead for a possession or two, wouldn’t it?

Saw Mike Neal freeze and back up a bit on a tackle at the second level. Needs to attack – gave away another two or three yards.

And here is comes. We got to feel good for one drive…  Flynn fumbles. Falcons ball at the Packers’ 14.

Brad Jones heads the ball back into Snelling’s arms. Ever play soccer, Brad?

Falcons capitalize on the turnover with a TD pass to Tony Gonzalez, left alone by Morgan Burnett.

Yes, Morgan, you might want to be concerned about Tony Gonzalez at the goal line. Just a thought…

Of all people to leave uncovered on the goal line… Boggles my mind…

Quarless with some nice plays today – been waiting for this…

Boykin wide open in middle of field. Flynn holds on to ball and takes sack. Can’t win with Flynn – I’ll take my chances with Tolzein.

For those who think Rodgers holds on to the ball too long, see Exhibit A in his defense: Matt Flynn.

Wow. 72yard INT return after a deflection and bounce off a foot. This stuff could only happen to this team. smh…

Big props to TJ Lang – Only lineman that made an attempt to run after Weatherspoon.

Boos rain down on the Packers as they leave the field at halftime.

Score at end of 1st half:   Atl 21 GB 10

 

Packers vs. Falcons – First Impressions – Second Half:

Both teams go three and out – NEWS FLASH: Packers actually appear to have been covering receivers this series. I’m sure it’s just temporary, though.

Personally, I couldn’t bring myself to boo the #Packers, especially if I was lucky enough to be at Lambeau Field.

Flynn to Nelson for big yardage. Only a weak throw prevented 7 points. Packers end up with a field goal.

Defense with second straight 3 and outs. Wonder how many times that’s happened the last few games?

Best offensive adjustment I’ve seen today – giving Flynn some easy targets with the tight ends. Especially Quarless, who I had high hopes for when the Packers drafted him.

Packers seriously need more guys with Eddie Lacy’s attitude. No Retreat, No Surrender. Ever.

 

Score at end of 3rd quarter:   Atl 21 GB 16

 

Defense needs to create a turnover for the Packers  to win… Let’s go!

CALLED IT! Fumble! Packers ball!

Mike Neal causes the Matt Ryan fumble.

Flynn goes back to Quarless – TOUCHDOWN!

But, two point conversion is severely overthrown in corner of end zone. Packers by 1 point. Oh jeez…

Using the tight ends as targets for Flynn was a really smart move. I criticize MM a lot, so let me give some credit. But what took so long?

Jeremy f’ing Ross – two return TDs today? Why did you suck so much for the Packers this year Jeremy?

Falcons miss 50yd field goal, Packers go three and out. Falcons ball on their own 18, 4 minutes left

Game lies in the hand of the defense – Oh Lord…

Falcons really keeping Packers defense off balance with their run pass mix, here. Good play calling.

AJ Hawk vehemently yelling at somebody – don’t ever see that from him. I beleive someone took a late hit cheap shot at him.

Packers hold on third down. Two minute warning. Will Atlanta try another long field goal or go for the first down?

They go for it. Gonzalez bobbles and drops it with Jarret Bush all over him. Ball goes to Packers. Falcons with two timeouts left.

Packers with their typical ultra-conservative three and out with a lead series.

Masthay punts – ball dies on the two yard line.  What a punt! 44 seconds left.

Jeez – Falcons pick up 33 yds on first two plays. This is torture.

Packers get a huge break on a drop of an easy reception by Harry Douglas.  Like I said, this is torture.

Three Packers fighting for the INT and Jarret Bush comes down with it.

Jarret Bush: star of the game.

Wow

Final Score:   GB 22 Atl 21

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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  • Art

    I believe the only reason the Packers won was because of the Falcons halftime speech that went something like this: Come on guys, what’s wrong with you!? Are you trying to blow our great upcoming draft? We’ve worked so hard this year at losing games, are you going to ruin it now?” When you have Bush making two plays on the Falcons last two drives, it can only mean one thing for the Falcons, “the fix is in”. Okay, so the Lions lose again, Schwartz is about to pop an carotid artery. Let’s not forget DC in this game. First time this season Ryan passed for over 200 yards. He’s gotta go!

    • Dobber

      Watched the Pack on the ‘puter, the Lions on the TV. This is the Lions team I’ve been talking about: they can’t get out of their own way. Philly took it to them in the second half after looking uber tentative in the lousy conditions in the first.

      Thank you, Lions, for being the Lions.

    • Two Bears, One Cup

      As my mom always told me, “If you don’t have something reasonably close to even a slightly intelligent thought to say, don’t say anything.”

      Obviously, we are not brothers.

      Go back to your Bears/Vikings website.

  • FITZCORE1252

    ” First time this season Ryan passed for over 200 yards.”

    Check your facts son. That’s the first time he’s thrown for 200 against the PACK.

    • Art

      You are correct son, my mistake and not what I meant to type. I know the facts. My point was and still is that DC has got to go.

  • Dobber

    At this point, I don’t care if they win pretty, just win. And whether the defense played well or the Falcons fell apart in the second half, the beat goes on…

    …and ARod comes back next week?

  • FITZCORE1252

    Saw some heart out there today, refreshing.

  • FITZCORE1252

    This vikings game is ridic.

    • Dobber

      All these snow games seem to be bustin’ out late. This one is just crazy, though…

    • Barutan Seijin

      Ridiculous, but with a happy ending.

      • Dobber

        Any playoff hopes the Packers might still have required the Ravens to still have something to play for next week.

  • Herb the Bitter

    Nice to see some fight from the team.

    I don’t understand teams like Atlanta. Their first drive they had fourth and short inside packers territory and they punted. Why not go for it? What do you have to lose?

    Hope lives on for one more week.

    • Barutan Seijin

      Agree. You’d think they’d have a good
      chance of making it — and if they don’t
      so what?

  • brian

    Bush with the eye of the tiger. Someday is he going to end up being the longest tenured packer. He takes punches all the time yet delivers the knock out blow.

  • mark in Portland

    Jarrett Bush: an interception in the Super Bowl and now a pick to end the winless streak. I love it!

  • GBPDAN

    A win without Rodgers? Hope jones or latimore plays at Dallas, …oh , and Rodgers, too

  • http://jersyal.com tim

    Jarrett Bush – who would have thunk it. But I’m glad somebody stepped up and got it done. the man of the hour, he grows on you.

  • Savage57

    Watching the Seattle at SF late game. Nice to be able to catch some pro football this afternoon.

  • SchenySchen

    Lets hope Dallas plays an overtime game in Chicago tomorrow night and is really, really tired for next week’s tilt! GoPack!

  • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

    Season ain’t over quite yet.

    1. Rodgers comes back next week.
    2. Everyone picks it up because of that
    3. We win out.
    4. Detroit blows one more game against a sub par opponent
    5. We get blown out in the 1st round.
    6. Pick in the high teens.

    • Barutan Seijin

      If you’re eliminated in the wildcard
      round, you’re picking 21-24.

    • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

      Detroit could easily lose another game. I’d feel better if they were playing weren’t playing both the Ravens and Giants at home though.

      • Dobber

        Exactly why they had to lose today. Philly played lousy in the first half, but they dominated the last 20 minutes or so.

        • http://Allpackers.com Nick Perry

          Yup, I saw the 14-0 score with Detroit up and didn’t think Philly would catch em in that snow. Little did I know Philly went off. One question, how the hell does Ross not fumble like he did in Green Bay playing in 10 inches of snow??

          • Stroh

            Its called playing for your NFL career. Ross was cut by 2 teams already, he knew another team dumps him or has any reason to dump him and he’s not making hundreds of thousands a year. He’s making closer to 20K a year. Don’t you think that might motivate him to get his ass out of his head? LOL

  • GBPDAN

    I’m torn, I really want to win out including beating the bears in Chicago for the division crown, but, I don’t want to get crushed in our 1st playoff game, at home, to the wildcard 49ers.

    • JimR_in_DC

      As long as we beat the Bears, everything else is icing on the cake.

    • Herb the Bitter

      I’m hoping for the best case scenario of hosting Carolina. Really have doubts about beating anyone else.

  • Barutan Seijin

    It’d be one less Packer-less weekend.

  • JimR_in_DC

    Re: Jeremy Ross’ big day for Detroit…he doesn’t have Slocum for a special teams coordinator any more.

    • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

      Ross had a good game on Thanksgiving against Pack. Really makes you wonder about Slocum although Slocum can’t hold on to the ball FOR him.

      • Two Bears, One Cup

        Agreed. Hard to blame Slocum for Ross’ hands. We all saw his potential to be really good, but I completely understand and agree with cutting him when we did.

      • Stroh

        Ross couldn’t catch a cold in GB and couldn’t make a decision to save his life either. That’s not a coach issue its a confidence problem.

        Ross got cut by SF IIRC, then the Packers. His NFL career was on life support. He realized if he didn’t pick it up he was going from making hundreds of thousands a year to 20K. Wouldn’t that motivate you?!

    • Archie

      Yeah, Packers got into his head about fumbling and paralyzed him. I remember they did the same to another fine young returner a few years back by the name of Jerron Cherry. Just another way in which current Packer coaching sucks.

      • Dobber

        You can only get into someone’s head about fumbling if you put the ball on the ground in the first place.

        • JimR_in_DC

          Every player that handles the football puts it on the ground every now and then. Coaching can help reduce how often that happens.

  • http://jersyal.com tim

    Jim in dc, Ross made more big plays returning kicks in the past couple weeks than our entire team for the season. I look like I see breno giacomini starting at OT for the Seahawks as well. We could really use a OT. Its bothering me, and makes me believe there’s something wrong with the packers system. Whether its coaching or something else. Watching other teams cover the slant pass over the middle, or stop Kaepernick, Ponder, Eli manning…I wonder if our players are bad, or if something deeper than that is the problem.

    • Two Bears, One Cup

      We have guys like DuJuan Harris, Jarrett Boykin, and Tramon Williams, etc. who didn’t make it with their previous teams. I think sometimes a player just responds to a coach or needs a change of environment, or plays better in a different system.

  • Since ’61

    Big win without Rodgers. Good to see some fight in this team. Defense only allowed one TD and overall had a good game. They kept the game in control during the 3rd quarter as the offense chipped back. Then they get the big turnover and the offense cashes in. Nice, solid game from Flynn. The Int not his fault. More of this plus Rodgers return and who knows how far this goes. However, we could have a 1st round game against New Orleans and they are terrible on the road and we may be pretty hot by then if we get that far. For now, take one game at a time. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

    • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

      We’ve seen it year in and year out. The team that gets hot at right time can win it all. Really wish Rodgers and Cobb could get cleared. If somehow the Packers did make it, they’d need Cobb.

      • JimR_in_DC

        It’s a little early to be talking about getting hot and the Packers in the same sentence; however, I’m going to let myself indulge in a little optimism, too. :)

      • Stroh

        I think we’ve seen by now that the only player the Packers NEED is Rodgers. Cobb would be little more than icing. Especially since they made the mistake of taking him off returns.

        • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

          I think Cobb would be much more than icing. He helps free up Jordy and James and is a receiver that can take it to the house at any moment. After a broken leg, I doubt you’ll ever see Cobb on KO returns again, and rightfully so.

          • Stroh

            Cobbs a good player, but how did the Packers Offense do w/ Rodgers and w/o Cobb? Seemed to run just fine to me. I doubt the scoring average went down w/o Cobb as long as Rodgers is still the QB!

            Cobb broke his leg on offense, why would that preclude him playing ST? He WAS drafted largely for his ability as a returner. Deion Sanders kept returning even tho he was FAR more valuable to his team than Cobb is! No excuse NOT to use him. If he the rest and isn’t in good enough condition just cut back on his offensive snaps by 5 plays a game. The gain on ST would far outweigh his loss on a few snaps of offense!

        • JimR_in_DC

          We NEED a pair of good inside linebackers, an O-lime w/o Newhouse, and a pair of our least bad safeties out there, too.

          • Stroh

            That is not the point tho was it?! No it wasn’t… The point is the only player that the Packers NEED (as in is irreplaceable) is Rodgers!

  • http://jersyal.com tim

    It was good to see Richardson getting a chance after the half-hearted play of some of the other safeties. Nothing spectacular, but he’s a bigger guy and seems not afraid to stick his nose into things.

  • http://jersyal.com tim

    Jim in DC, In the words of Mr. Miyagi, There is no such thing as a bad student, only bad teachers. I guess Jeremy Ross/slocum are proving him right. Maybe he could coach special teams.

  • JimR_in_DC

    I’ve been a Slocum hater and a Campen hater for a few years now.

  • Archie

    Pack has to finish 8-0 to be SB Champ. They are now 1-0 on that path thanks to Harry Douglass being wide open but butterfingered. ATL also made lots of questionable play calls on 3rd and short, all to GB’s advantage. Nonetheless, we got what we absolutely needed and a bonus when the Lions went belly up v the high flying Eagles.

    Will AROD start v Dallas? That is only question left worth pondering this week. Flynn & Co. will not be able to keep pace with Dallas. So it’s AROD or nothing.

    • Dobber

      You pretty much hit the nail on the head with this post. It doesn’t happen with #12.

      If they could’ve found a way to sneak out a W against the Vikes, they’d be tied for first in the division right now, despite all the ugly.

  • packett

    Nice to get a win, and I hate to be kind of sour-sport about it…but keep in perspective. I saw Atlanta bobble opportunities to win, more than GB stops. That is the 3-10 Atlanta (ranked below the bucs)…a dome team playing in Green bay…in the snow. And it still took GB considerable effort to beat them by 1 point. I don’t any expectations for this team this year.

  • jtmax

    Ross is extremely talented. He was just too afraid to make a mistake in GB with the critical drop in SF. Now he’s loose. Half of the pro game is mental.
    I like Richardson in the lineup. He’s got potential. Flynn did well with so many injuries to starters on offense. Hope Lacy recovers for next week. He’s critical. I think Flynn can win if we can get the Oline healthy and get a running game going. Our defense is getting healthier so expect us to step it up next week vs Dallas.

  • Big T

    we have 1 win in a row now, we are unstoppable. The way we played against the Falcons I bet every team in the nfl are shaking in their boots