Packers Vs. Falcons: First Impressions – 2014 Game 13

packers vs. falcons Monday Night

Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons:  2014 Game 13 (Packers 43, Falcons 37)

As always, this post it what it says it is, unfiltered initial reactions as the game progresses. I always find it entertaining to compare initial impressions from the heat of the moment with more measured thoughts with time to think about it.  Everything is up for discussion.

 

GAME NOTES:

BRETT FAVRE IS IN TOWN… or at least he was, but he’s not staying for the game. He flew in for a Bart Starr Charity luncheon and I’m sure the original plan was for him to come to the game with Bart, but,,, Starr’s’ health problems made that impossible.

SNOW!!! At only 33 degrees, and from what I’ve seen on TV pre-game, it reminds me of the Seattle Snow Bowl game, which is still my #1 in-person Packer game experience.

The Packers are 13-8-1 at home on Monday Night Football, including 3-1 under Head Coach Mike McCarthy

Only minor surprises in the inactives list is Sam Shields being. I believe they will have him on a snap count, as they did when Nick Perry was activated last week. Dimitri Goodson is active even though Shields is back – maybe to take Shields’ ST snaps?

 

Today’s captains will be T Bryan Bulaga (offense), CB Tramon Williams (defense) and S Sean Richardson (special teams).

 

Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
16 QB Scott Tolzien
54 LB Carl Bradford
57 LB Jamari Lattimore
72 C Garth Gerhart
80 TE Justin Perillo
83 WR Jeff Janis
99 DT Bruce Gaston

Note: The Packers placed 97 DT Luther Robinson on injured reserve on Monday and signed DT Bruce Gaston to the active roster from the Arizona Cardinals practice squad. See the press release.

Atlanta Falcons
12 QB Sean Renfree
23 CB Robert Alford
30 S Charles Godfrey
54 LB Tyler Starr
64 T Jonathan Scott
90 DE Stansly Maponga
97 LB James Anderson

 

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

 

Performance vs. NE: It’s one win, but it was just a very well played football game. You appreciate not only the outcome, but the quality of play.

Physical ILB play: Sam played very well. Clay played well. Sam Barrington was the game ball winner on defense. That tells you how we felt about his performance.

Run defense: It was better, but we can get even better – It was a big emphasis this week with Steven Jackson.

Even keel team: That’s the design of the program, we try to keep it even keel. But if you look at the personalities on this team, it fits. We try to manage those things as much as we can and we felt we needed to push our team a little this week, and we did.

Sam Shields: Sam will play, Casey and Devon are ready to go.

Falcon at 5-7 lead their Division: They played very well last week in Arizona. Beat them soundly down there. They’re in first place just like we are.

Julio Jones: Big time talent, big time player. Julio’s perf was top notch

Matt Ryan: Excellent QB – very cerebral as far as getting in and out of packages

Turnovers: Snowing outside. Ball security will be at a premium.

Devin Hester: Some things never change. Hester is still outstanding, we’ve had some great battles with him over the years.

Keys: turnover ratio, big play production.

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Packers vs. Falcons – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win the toss and elect to receive.

Wish we could see a little of Dujuan Harris at RB instead of KR.

Rodgers with an emphatic cheer for Lacy after he picks up a blitzing secondary.

Someone pointed out to me that last week, there were no Lambeau Leaps. Packers drive, Starks scores – no Lambeau Leap.

Packers never had to run a 3rd down play on that drive.

Loud Lambeau fans cause first delay of game.  Crowd has been extra loud this year.

Clay bull rushes his cousin Jake and it’s a draw – which means Jake won.

Matt Ryan looking nowhere else but for Julio Jones – and it works. Falcons respond with a TD drive.

Have no idea how Bakhtiari gave up that sack. On every other play, Falcons DL appears to be moving in slow motion. Maybe he slipped?

Packers get themselves in a 3rd and 17… No problem/ Quarless open in the middle of the field.

Rodgers takes a cheap shot hit while he’s on the ground. Unsportmanlike penalty against the Falcons – first and goal from the 1.

 

Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 7 ATL 7

Packers go big and bring in JC Tretter and Lane Taylor as Tight Ends. Lacy takes it into the end zone to Tretters’ side.

Lacy leaps and order is restored in the Packers Universe.

Lacy makes four Falcons look silly after a dump-off. Several ran into each other and took each other out. Packers sideline loving it.

Don’t know that a screen pass is best choice against this pass rush. They actually have to penetrate to make it successful.

I guess distance running would not be Burnett’s thing? Totally ran out of gas after his interception return. Finally collapses and calls it a play. LOL.

Rodgers with a TD pass to Lacy as he runs right up the middle of the line and just turns around over the goal line. That’s just impossible for a defense to account for..

Letroy Guion with a diving INT after tipping the ball, but alas, I knew he dropped it. Still – great effort.

Guion has convinced me. I’ll take his effort over Raji’s talent any day. or specifically, next season. Sign Guion, say bye to BJ.

Aaron Rodgers thoroughly impressed himself on his scramble and TD pass to Nelson. Thoroughly…. Broke out the belt – first time this year.

 

Score at end of 1st half:   GB 31 ATL 7

 

Packers vs. Falcons- First Impressions – Second Half:

Time of possession: GB 21 min, Atl 9 min.

Matt Flynn better be stretching in the locker room…

Looks like the Packers fixed their one-game red zone problem, 4-4 so far.

Falcons come out and find Julio Jones on what I call the “Jordy Juke.” Catch between the corner and safety, cut inside after the catch to lose the safety and run for the goal line. Packers catch him, but Falcons use four plays to score from inside the 5 yd line.

Packers finally have to punt, and they look totally confused. Players moving around, punt is nearly blocked. May want to practice that this week…

Matthews with a friendly little push on the chest of his cousin after a play. Next play, he gets the best of his cuz and picks up a sack on Ryan. Coverage sack, but nonetheless…

Rodgers hung Cobb out to dry on a pass over the middle, gets blasted by two Falcons, but the Falcons’ safety Ishmael comes away with the worst of it. Cobb pops to his feet, Ishmael does not.

Falcons seem to have finally learned their lesson on the check downs. Should open things up for the wide receivers.

Life was so much more fun when Crosby was an adventure on every kick…

34-17, Falcons offense starting to find a rhythm. I can hear the gnashing of teeth and biting of nails starting…

 

Score at end of 3rd quarter:   GB 34 ATL 17

Julio Jones TD. He’s pretty much all they have and it’s almost enough.

And “the defense is awful” tweets begin. Not that other teams might actually have some talent and be capable of scoring points. nah…

Jordy Nelson runs by the entire Falcons secondary. Rodgers hits him in stride for an easy TD.

Julio Jones now with 250 receiving yards. Seven minutes left.

Packers stop two -point conversion try to keep lead at 10 pts. Falcons did them favor by running it, no lead blocker. Went nowhere.

Somehow Atlanta comes back to within six. Their second half pretty much mirrors the Packers’ first half.

Packers close the deal on the ground with a couple of first downs.

 

Final Score:  GB 43 ATL 37

 

Final Thoughts:

Did anybody really expect this to be anything but a shootout? “The defense is awful” Off night, but no, they’re not awful.

These type of games happen. Letting down with a big lead is not unusual. How did they play last week for 4 quarters in a close game?

Wrote in preseason that if Rodgers would continue to throw to his RBs (as he was doing in preseason) their offense would be unstoppable. Doing it…

Best dumb fan tweet of the game” Packers run defense has been hurting since Barrington took over for Hawk.”

Packers pass rush was fairly non-existent this game. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones say thank you.

Interesting question to ponder: Who’s tougher to cover, Julio Jones or Megatron?

Very surprised Sam Shields played the whole game.

Packers waited too long to put  Davon House on Jones.

You would think other teams would account for Crosby on the kick returns. How many KR TD’s has he saved over the yrs?  He’s always there.

Julius Peppers’ 2nd straight very quiet game. Wonder if he’s nursing an injury of some type.

Packers’ ability to close games out on the ground can not be underestimated.

Matt Flynn never made it in. Well, at least we weren’t bored…

 

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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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78 thoughts on “Packers Vs. Falcons: First Impressions – 2014 Game 13

  1. I have 5 words form Dom Capers. SAFETY HELP OVER THE TOP!!!! Shields needs to play a hell of a lot better for a $39 million contract over 4 years. He was awful tonight until Capers finally sat him down in the 4th quarter.

    1. I dont think he was ready…. should have been sitting tonight with that concussion. And btw – House should be resigned. Let Tramon go. House and Shields outside. Hyde and Heyward inside. HHCD and Burnett at FS/SS. That’ll be a helluva secondary for a long time.

    2. I’ve been going bonkers about that contract ever since it was signed! Was I seriously the only person who thought this was going to be a classic case of someone who only plays well for the money??? Shields wanted to hold out, he had his best season in a contract year, Greg Rosenhaus is his agent, the signs were there. What in the world prompted TT to believe Shields had deserved a salary nearly as good as Woodson?

      1. Chad, the guy’s head was not all there in this game. Cut Shields some slack. He has lifetime slack for the two int’s in the NFC Championship game against the Bears his rookie season. He’ll be fine. They rushed him back because they feared Julio. I can’t blame them but Shields was bad for a reason in my professional opinion.

        1. Shields hasn’t been that good all season though, I’m not basing this off of just one game. The games against Chicago comes to mind. When he covered Martellus Bennet in the first game, Bennet had a career best 134 yards. In the second game, Brandon Marshall had 8 rec 112 yards. Even if it was half-hearted, no other DB struggled like Shields did that night. The only reason it wasn’t worse was because Marshall left with an injury.

          He hasn’t done anything close to what he did in 2013 or 2012. He’s capable of more, but doesn’t wanna put in the effort.

          This guy is making almost as much money as Charles Woodson did. He’s paid like a top 5 corner, yet he’s ranked as No. 43 on PFF. There can be no doubt that Shields main interest is the money, and now that he’s got it, he’s pulling an A.J. Hawk.

          1. Hyde was covering Bennett in the first Bears game, and Shields wasn’t the only guy getting beat by Jones last night. It was pretty obvious that the Packers weren’t too concerned about Jones getting his numbers. Otherwise they would have bracketed him all night.

  2. Packers got the win and that’s all that matters. Great performance by the offense again as usual, but the defense took a step back in the second half. Did Perry play at all tonight? Capers had no answer for Julio Jones. I know that he is a great receiver but he was their only weapon and Capers should have had a plan to take him out of Atlanta’s offense at least some of the time. A win is a win. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

      1. That was an incorrect # on the obvious facemask by hyde (33 vs 53). Hyde had an up and down game tonight. However i thought ot was perry that got the punt block when they called matthews name, can anyone confirm who it was?

    1. The win is NOT all that matters. The defense is terrible. Will lose to Seattle when they can’t put 40 points on the board.

      1. It was a stutter step no doubt David. The Packers defense is a work in progress. My guess is they are taking lumps with Barrington’s play calling on defense as there was definitely confusion with assignments. He’s replacing one of the best in the business in A.J. Hawk who is clearly the better player mentally. It showed in this game.

        Barrington will get better and better as time goes on but he’s clearly the more physical of the two and he needs to just keep playing. By the playoffs all the kinks should be worked out. Again, this was a stutter step, an aberration. Put it out of you mind. It wasn’t real. On to Buffalo.

        1. Playing Barrington now is great for the Packers D. As you mention, he makes some mistakes, but he is learning and improving.

          Hawk has shown signs of wear and tear this year, but his mental ability is good. Resting him now could pay off yet this year. He has more to contribute before this is all done.

          1. Excellent point Sven. Yes, Hawk’s mental experience could help out big time down the road especially against another brainiac like Russell Wilson.

      2. The defense had a bad half. Since the bye week they have played well for 4 games plus the 1st half against Atlanta. They held Atlanta to less than 100 yards rushing. The only player who hurt them was Julio Jones. A pass rush would have helped. Also, you have to give some credit to Matt Ryan and the Falcons, they are good players and they played hard to win. Why worry about a Seattle game that may never happen. Let’s beat Buffalo next. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

        1. Buffalo will be a tough game. They shut down the Broncos passing game in Denver this week.

          The Packers have a tough road ahead. What happened last night is already gone. Buffalo is what matters now.

    2. Jones was taken completely out of the Falcons offense for the last 6 minutes of the game, sitting on the sidelines too hurt to play — hurts he got by being pounded by the Packers tacklers for the entire game.
      Think about it.

  3. Julio Jones is great. Matt Ryan is good. Shields didn’t look himself. The Falcons are bad. The Packers were disinterested.

    The week after the biggest win they’ve had in 3 years, Green Bay was up 31-7 at Halftime. It was a blowout and they checked out on both sides of the ball. The stats (nor the scoring) in the 2nd half just plain old don’t matter.

    It’s not like ATL exposed a physical or gameplanning deficiency that is dogging GBs D… they just stopped….trying until it got close again. GBs secondary is very, very good. I’d be much more worried if it were the run D again.

    Bring on the Bills with a renewed sense of urgency. Any given day could have bitten GB in the butt tonight.

    What a boring game. Did anyone else even notice that this was a shootout?

    1. one “very” too many….and no pressure on Ryan, he was too comfortable…sure hope we run the table don’t want to see this defense show up in a dome or on the road…terrible showing by the “D”…..

      1. The 2nd half was ugly no doubt, and GBs D certainly isn’t Seattle’s. But it isn’t trash either. It’s middle of the road. By my count, GBs D has played 10 bad quarters of football all year. That’s not bad considering they’ve played 52 quarters over their 13 games. Keep in mind the other teams players get paid too… Plus, the secondary and pass rush is better than middle of the road. Which with GBs O being out of this world, middle of the road is enough to be a SB contender.

        How did GBs D look against the vaunted NE Offense last week? Pretty good I’d say. Same for the Eagles when it was competitive (38-7 at half). Both those teams have better offensive units (running and passing) than the Falcons.

        So I’d say signs point to this being a classic let
        down game. If it happens again in Buffalo next week, THEN I’ll be worried. Not before. The players are humans – subject to human emotions (and a disinterested day at work) too.

      1. Again David, Jones was open due to the Barrington calling the plays vs. Hawk. These things are going to happen when a green guy is taking over for a veteran who is superior at lining up the defense correctly but inferior at making tackles due to his lack of physicality. We’ll take our lumps with Barrington but it will get better when it matters the most in the playoffs.

      2. Maybe the secondary wasn’t good against Jones last night, but they shut everyone else down until Jones sat. Jones is an elite WR and Matt Ryan is an upper-echelon QB. Jones is going to get his more often than not, whether you bracket him or not.

        The secondary has been one of the defense’s more solid units all year. If they can’t contain Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods with Orton throwing softballs to them next week, there will be cause for concern.

        Don’t underestimate Buffalo. They sack the QB at a league-leading clip. They will challenge the Packers next week.

        1. Hey Dobber, do you possibly think this Buffalo game is finally the game where MM uses yet another secret weapon on offense to slow down that Buffalo defense? I’m talking DuJuan Harris.

          With Lacy hurting is it possible MM has been purposely holding back Harris for a game like this one? I personally am thinking this could be that game. This will be a tough tough game. The Packers might need an extra trick up their sleeve in order to survice this one. DuJuan Harris could be the deciding factor. What do you think?
          Ted

      3. Did you ever consider that Julio Jones is to WRs what Aaron Rodgers is to QBs? Yes, he’s the best at his position or at least in the top 3 in the league. You have to give the guy some credit for being a great player, just like Rodgers gets credit for his great play. Combine that with a second half let down by our D and you have a great receiver running wild in our secondary. No matter, the Pack wins and we’re 10-3. On to Buffalo. Thanks, Since ’61

      4. Jones had an incredible game, and there is a lot to work on. But the D is not terrible. That is just an over reaction.

  4. A win is a win, but, it was disappointing seeing the Defense fall apart in the second half. Wouldn’t it be better to have a CB jam Jones at the line and play tight coverage with a safety rolled over covering the top? Jones was their only weapon. I don’t get it? The offense looked good, however, Atlantas D is bad. Let’s hope this was just a bad game on D moving forward.

  5. Please never play Sam Shields again while he is still concussed, that can be the only reason for such a pitiful performance….and Williams wasn’t much better…no pressure on Ryan, just a crap game by defense…

    1. If he was still concussed he wouldn’t have been playing, duh. Rusty after not practicing and recovering from a concussion all week is what you were lookin for

      1. Not true. Just go back to Eddie Lacy’s concussion earlier this season. He was rushed back and he was not the same. He was tentative, not hitting holes etc. probably afraid of getting another one. He played tentative for weeks until just recently has he looked like the guy we all expected to see all year.

        Shields also played the same way yesterday. Sam Shields is a top 10 corner in the league but last night he played like a guy coming back from a concussion a tad early. We are fine. I love the fact we are not getting these constant season ending injuries game after game. This is what we need to have a chance at getting to the super bowl this season. Kudos to the Packers training staff this year.

    2. The lack of pressure on Ryan in the second half, knowing he was going to have to throw the ball with one of the league’s weakest OL playing in front of him, was concerning.

  6. I think Packer fans should be forced to watch other teams play. I have game rewind and watch as many games as possible in condensed mode and it has totally opened my eyes. The team is never as bad as any one thinks it is. People are always complaining and whining while our team is winning. Just thing about how many competitive teams have down years like, Eagles, Cowboys, Arizona, Seattle, San Fransisco, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New Orleans, etc… It took the Packers missing their future HOF QB for half the year for them to have a down year and they still won the the freaking division, how many teams can say that? Just one NE, yes thats right NE and GB are 2 of the most reliable, consistent winning teams in a topsy turvy NFL. I think its kind of sad that Green Bay Packers fans are taking the fanatic part of fans to the extreme. How about just being happy, we are 10-3 and fighting for a chance at hone field through out playoffs in a highly competitive conference. But no, its just easier to bitch while were winning, go figure.

    1. hey, criticism is allowed on this site, you seem to be on the wrong site, this isn’t “Ask Vic”….we all love the Pack but if you were happy watching the defense tonight…..well….good luck if they play like that again this year…

      1. This isn’t criticism, this is just out right bitching and whining. Thats always the response from fans that do that, its criticism, no its not, at the very least own up to what fans are really doing. I am not saying always love the Packers or always wear green and gold colored glasses but be realistic. There are reasons this game is played and not just simulated with statistics. That is because statistics don’t make mistakes, humans do. All teams have bad games, all defenses have bad games, you can point to any team and every single one of them has had games like this. The biggest difference is that not all teams win games like this, and yes there have been other teams that have lost big leads and lost. It happens, why the old adage is so pervasive in the NFL, “On any given Sunday.”

        But this is all I’m going to say on the matter. I lost any real faith in Packers fans in 2008, death threats and horrible things slung at our now HOF QB for a game, a freaking game. smh

      2. There’s a difference between informed, constructive criticism and generalized speculation (such as the defense sucks, Shields is overpaid, etc.).

      3. Billy – criticism is allowed. But be fair and give credit to Julio Jones. He is a great receiver, maybe the best in the league, at least top 3 and he played at a very high level last night. Like Aaron Rodgers, Julio Jones is one of those great players who is difficult to stop. The Packers held him down in the first half. They had a let down in the second half and he had some success. It’s a good wake up call for the defense and the entire team to remember to play 60 minutes of football against every opponent. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

    2. “Amen” about watching other teams, Matt. You nailed it. Because they don’t watch many other games, many fans seem to think that all other teams are somehow invincible (even though their records are worse than GB’s). They imagine that “any old corner” in the league would do better than that horrible, evil Sam Shields. Because they don’t pay attention to other games, people don’t have a wide enough context to judge reasonably.

      For all of the fans who are bitching about how “horrible” Sam Shields is, did you have a chance to watch Julio Jones utterly demolish Patrick Peterson last week… even though Peterson is arguably the top corner in the league and Arizona is a first rate defense?

  7. our defense would of been a lot better if Datone Jones and Nick Perry played tonight….maybe next week they will suit up and get on the field..

  8. Please don’t give me that “Hey dimwit, we won the game, be happy! Did you want us to lose??” I am fully aware that we won, and also very happy we won. I care a lot more about the Super Bowl however. Call me human. Sue me. Whatever.

    Can anyone here, with sincere honesty, tell me that this team can win the big one if our D plays like that? Can you name another team at the top of your head, or with research for that matter, that has won the SB with a piss-poor defense?

    I pray and hope this is nothing more than a fluke of a performance by the D. May Julio Jones is just playing lights out (He DID humiliate Patrick Peterson last week). Maybe the Packers just thought the game was already over and decided to put in a half-hearted effort in the second half. Maybe Dom just didn’t feel the need to keep the status quo for the same reason. Maybe Shields needs to regain his confidence after his concussion, much like Lacy had to. Maybe all of the above.

    We better hope it is because as great as Rodgers is, all it takes is one less than stellar performance from him and boom, we’re one and one yet again. A poor defense has NOT gotten the job done for the last three years.

    1. No need to pray Chad. Yes, it was just a fluke thank God. The halftime score was indicative of the defense not the second half. The Packers defense let’s be honest all decided to play with one arm tied behind their backs. When it mattered the most they stopped them on that 2 pt. converstion attempt.

      1. “The halftime score was indicative of the defense not the second half. ”

        Most of the time, I’m with you, Ted, but the games are 60 minutes long for a reason. When you play disinterested football, you get beat. I think we should all be happy that the Packers were at least mildly interested in the second half.

        1. Everyone needs to R-E-L-A-X. The game was NEVER in doubt. GBs D isn’t great. But they’re not Chicago-Bears bad either. At least it was the passing D game that was rough in the 2nd half and not the running D game. They pass D hasn’t been shredded except in 1 game all year. It’s a fluke.

          It’s obvious they coasted. Barrington might have made some bad calls. I don’t know. But I’m really not worried.

          1. Sitting in the stands for the game, I can say there was definitely a point at which the game was indeed in doubt, or at very least, not a given.

            1. Yeah. It wasn’t a given by the end of the 3rd Q. But at least watching it I was only ever marginally worried. They laid an egg in the 2nd half and they still won.

    2. “Can you name another team at the top of your head, or with research for that matter, that has won the SB with a piss-poor defense?”

      Sure. I’d say there were three of them in the past 10 years. Most notably, in 2011 the Giants won the SB with a defense that was 27th in total D, 29th in pass D, 19th in rush D, and 25th in scoring D. Also check out New Orleans in 2009 and Indy in 2006. Those were all bad defenses.

      If you average the defensive rankings of the past 10 Superbowl winners, these are the numbers you get…

      Total Defense – 12th
      Passing defense – 12.5
      Rushing defense – 13.6
      Scoring defense – 10.6

      Defense wins championships? It certainly helps, but it doesn’t mean as much as being able to score points.

      1. Average ranking of 12 is far from piss-poor like what we saw tonight.

        The 2011 New Yorks Giants were hampered by injuries all year, and finally got healthy in time for the playoffs. They allowed 375 yards per game in the regular, but only allowed 325 in the post-season. Their front four were absolutely dominant, Packers fans would know.

        Total yardage rankings can be a little misleading anyway, in terms of how good the defense can be that is. The Saints were able to eat up a lot of clock, letting their D limit opponents. They also were able to turn the ball over very VERY well! Remember that NFC Championship game against the Vikings?

        A lot of the same goes for the 2006 Colts.

        Yes, I get that defense don’t necessarily win you championships, but you cant sure bet that piss-poor like what you saw today will guarantee won’t get you one, which is my point.

      2. Defense wins championships period! Did you watch last years’s Super Bowl? Seattle shuts teams down and they will do it to the Packers. Without a solid defense, which Green Bay does not have, a Lombardi trophy is not happening.

        1. Recency bias. How about the 2012 SB? 2009? 2008? 2006? 2005 for that matter. Heck even ours in 2010 was probably more due to ARod than the great D.

          Biggest determining stats for SB champions are turnover differential and passer rating differential. Both things GB is top 5 in.

    3. Chad, i think Aaron Rodgers would tell you to R E L A X….. Its great that you are so emotionally drawn in by the game but your comments reek of someone who thinks they deserve a perfect victory. The defense came out flat and passive in the second half of a first half blowout. Relax. I was at the game and the tension that built late will ne good for them. Wake up calls are an important aspect to staying sharp. All of the teams goals are still in front of them. GoPack!

  9. I know that I should feel distressed by the 2nd half showing by GB, but I just don’t. I suspect that some players checked out mentally after the 1st half. Wayne Larivee even pronounced that the last score in the 1st half was “the dagger.” I suspect that some guys played hurt, and maybe those injuries started to nag them in the 2nd half and they just couldn’t turn it back on, particularly on the DL.

    I note (IIRC) that Peppers delivered the hit on Julio Jones after a reception; after the hit, Jones left the game and did not return. I never wanted Raji back at (almost) any price. Go pack.

  10. Oops, one thing I did find distressing was special teams. We can’t be allowing blocked or hurried PATs, FGs, and Punts. Coverage wasn’t terrible – i.e., I concluded that Hester is still really good. I am tired of seeing Dujuan Harris return KOs to the 17 yard line, and then hope that no one threw an illegal block so we have to start inside the 10.

  11. This time Mr. Al I agree totally with you. Packers was controlling the game. I never felt that win is in danger. D played to relaxed in 2nd half and, yes, we can say Sam missed practice… I was yelling on my screen on Micah when he cut the throw from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones, as Sam (maybe Davon, not sure) was on that ball for INT and pick six. Pitty… This was great win. I’m convinced Packers are 13-3 at the end of the season… There will be tough games, but this was the dangerous one. Falcons will win divison as they are the best team of NFC South. Most people are underestimating them!

  12. On the Falcons 2nd scoring drive, J. Jones runs an out a couple yards deep in the end zone. Hyde slides over shallow to provide the under coverage and deflects the pass.

    But did you notice? Shields had perfect coverage and jumped the route. He was in perfect position (assuming he makes the catch) to pull off a 101 yard pick 6. And that would have changed everyone’s take on the Packers D.

    Shields was hopping around, prolly mad as hell, but Hyde made the sure play. But I can’t help but to consider how much of a difference the ‘splash play’ might have made over the ‘sure play’ in the way this played out. One of those 4-5 plays that games can turn on.

    1. Savage – yes, I noticed all of that as well. Shields was gone if he got the pick and he knew it. If Shields gets to make that play it’s “Closing Time” for the Falcons. Thanks, Since ’61

  13. Wow…what a great offense! Wow…what an embarrassing let down by the defense (who almost blew the game). Questions: Is Dom not able to make in game adjustments?….or….Are some of our defensive players playing hurt?….or….Are are some key guys still still learning the game?….or….Do we lack the talent to be a dominating defense?….or what?

    1. Probably a combination of all that you said. Ouch, defense tough to watch. Don’t want to hear, as others stated above, that the defense let down. Hogwash, they are not that good. Period.

  14. In reading all the posts, I notice a lack of this fact…the Falcons did what other teams will need to do to beat the Packers and that is keep AR on the sideline. This offense does two things…score points and give the defense a breather.

    The Falcons prevented this in the second half last night. When this defense spends more time on the field, it wears down. This is true of any defense but seems especially true with the Packers D. They couldn’t keep up with Julio Jones and Steven Jackson as the night went on. If the Falcons return to GB in the playoffs, I don’t expect a repeat of last night.

    Did Shields need to play last night? Probably not even though he cleared the concussion protocol. Will Sam Barrington improve? I think so but he needs the opportunity he’s getting now. It seems clear Hawk is being eased out. Should the Packers win the SB, I expect Hawk to announce an immediate retirement.

    The offense was cold in the second half because they spent so much time on the sideline. In the first half, everything was clicking because they were on the field so much. They got just enough going for Nelson’s second TD and the two FGs in the second half.

  15. The Defense had a Brain Fart! Flashback to 2011, pass rush wasn’t getting home. Looks like they underestimated the playmaking capabilities of Ryan and Jones. Shields was in a funk and I gotta believe he’s not a 100% yet. Thank goodness the Seahawks got rid of Percy Harvin and thank you Golden Tate for signing with the Lions. I’am not going to complain, it’s a Win. Lets Shuffle Off To Buffalo.

  16. I pondered this question since week 3, and now finally have the answer.

    We need a difference maker, anywhere he comes, from next year’s draft. But the one position we need it most is cornerback. With Matthews at ILb, we’re very well served there. Could definitely use another one, but it’s not thw gaping hole it was with Hawk. We could get a dominant TE, and another DL, bit our CBs aren’t very good. They’re not terrible, but there’s not one guy that can compete with elite talent in this league, which leads to a bunch of other problems. The only point in time this D was good was when Woodson could blanket an elite WR. Tramon was a top #2 corner, and Shields an excellent #3. But, as it is, Tramon is old, can’t keep up anymore and has to rely solely on guessing plays, which leads to mistakes like last night. Shields has regressed a lot. So has Heyward, who can’t play the run, which leads to Hyde starting. And House is just average.

    We need a guy that can handle one on ones. Yes, Peterson got beat last week, but he was competitive. His coverage was good, he just lost on ball placement. Last night? It was embarassing. And not just on Jones.

    On the positive side, the run defense has been improved tenfold. Just night and day. Matthews especially, but Barrington has also helped a lot. Hell, even Hawk was getting pressure last night. Bodes well for future encounters, but the secondary needs to get their shit together.

    1. I would argue, with the trend in rules changes in the NFL, that over-investing in CBs is futile. Having elite CBs would be great and your point–that you need to find them through the draft–is spot on. You need guys who can run, tackle, and who can stay with receivers, but in the end you’re paying guys who are ultimately set up by the rules to fail. My argument would be that you need to invest in the DL and in pass-rushers. If you can pressure the QB, you can make even average DBs look good.

      1. The rules only futher the notion that you need a really, really good CB, exactly because it’s harder than anywhere else.

        I’m not too familiar with the talent pool of next year’s draft, and God willing we’ll be picking last, but with our talent, and particularly Tramon Williams aging and playing badly, we need it.

  17. First Half: 31-7 Green Bay
    2nd Half: 30-12 ATL

    Had Jones not gotten injured who knows if GB hangs on. Pack seemed to be playing prevent defense in 2nd half.

    Next Up: @Buffalo – will test my theory that Pack plays much better at home because opposing DL can’t pass rush on Lambeau surface. (Neither can GB’s but that is another story.) BUF was death and taxes to cover vs DEN team this week that did not play all that great. Even BUF’s vaunted defense began to give up explosive plays in 2nd H. Their DBs did lay a lot of punishment on DEN WRs. Orton is a statue/sitting duck in pocket. He can’t throw accurately on the run. So, Pack must bring the house this week and get Orton off his spot. If so, Rodgers will do the rest. If not, BUF can be an unfriendly place for visiting teams. If DC sits back and lets Orton throw to his WRs, BUF could win. If GB can pressure Orton, BUF can’t score.

    1. If Archie is willing to turn the page and look forward, I will too ( and because it’s a healthy approach). All this micro-inspection to find reasons to be doubtful of the team is exhausting to read. Way to move us forward Archie. GoPack!

      1. Hey, the GBP have earned the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they win the SB this year, maybe they don’t. Either way they have made it a very good season. I agree that there is tendency to over-analyze this stuff and I tend to be guilty of that more than most.

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