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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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…
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.