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Packers @ Falcons

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Defense wins championships.

 

That's the old adage. And it's about to be turned on its head by either the Green Bay Packers or Atlanta Falcons.

 

The Packers finished 21st in points allowed. The Falcons finished 27th. And yet, one of them will win the NFC Championship Game on Sunday in Atlanta.

 

The victor will be playing in Super Bowl LI, and it figures to be a battle of brilliant quarterbacks -- Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers -- who decide this one.

 

Behind Ryan, the Falcons scored 71 more points than any other team in the NFL. Ryan's 117.1 passer rating not only led the NFL, but was the fifth-best in NFL history. He threw for 4,944 yards with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He topped 100 in passer rating in 12 of 16 regular-season games, then did it again against Seattle in the divisional round.

 

The Falcons enter the game on a five-game winning streak. Ryan has 14 touchdown passes and zero interceptions during the five-game streak.

 

"It's always a cool thing to watch when you see a good player go to a new spot," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "You guys have for sure seen it (with Rodgers). You know what it looks like, and Matt did that with his own game.

 

"It started way back in February in terms of his intent for the offseason, the way he was going to set it off. He had some things in his own game that he wanted to improve upon and, honestly, it carried over all the way through OTAs, into training camp."

 

Not to be outdone, Rodgers led the Packers to eight consecutive wins. Through the first quarter of the season, Rodgers ranked toward the bottom of the league in completion percentage (56.1) and yards per attempt (6.30). But he has been unstoppable as of late. During the winning streak, Rodgers has posted a 117.9 passer rating with 298.0 yards per game, 68.9 percent accuracy, 21 touchdowns and one interception. For the season, Rodgers threw for 4,428 yards with 40 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

 

"I think he's played incredible," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said. "It's important for our team to play our best football come Sunday. He's in a great rhythm right now. Is he playing the best he ever has? He's played at this level so often, but I think this is probably one of his best runs."

 

Both teams will need huge efforts from their quarterbacks in what could turn into a shootout. They'll be attacking what are at times poor defenses. Green Bay finished 31st in pass defense. Atlanta wasn't much better at 26th. Both teams finished in the bottom fourth of the league on third down and in the red zone.

 

Ryan might have the better supporting cast, though. Premier receiver Julio Jones returned to practice on Friday from an ongoing toe injury, and Quinn said he will play without limitations. Jones, who caught 83 passes for 1,409 yards and six touchdowns, will gather the bulk of Green Bay's defensive attention, but is surrounded by a flock of gifted weapons.

 

At receiver, Ryan can throw it to Mohamed Sanu (59 catches, 653 yards, four touchdowns) or Taylor Gabriel (35 catches, 579 yards, 16.5 average, six touchdowns). Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 85 receptions for 883 yards and five touchdowns. Three tight ends combined for 54 more receptions. A league-record 10 players caught at least two touchdown passes. Moreover, Freeman (1,079 yards, 4.8 average, 11 touchdowns) and Coleman (520 yards, 4.4 average, eight touchdowns) combined to power a running attack that finished fifth in the league.

 

"I think on offense we've done a great job of staying balanced," Ryan said. "We've done a great job in the run game, the pass game, created a bunch of explosive plays which helps in terms of scoring some points, and we've done a great job taking care of the ball. I think the combination of those things has led to us playing well."

 

Green Bay overcame the absence of Jordy Nelson (broken ribs) by scoring 38 points against the Giants and 34 points against the Cowboys -- teams that finished in the top five in points allowed. Receivers Davante Adams (ankle) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring) are also ailing and McCarthy said Friday that all three players are game-day decisions.

 

"I just can't be out there slowly running or just being some random person," Nelson said.

 

For Rodgers and Ryan, this is another chance at getting to the Super Bowl. Playing at home, the Falcons blew a 24-14 halftime lead and lost to San Francisco 28-24 in the 2012 NFC Championship Game. The Packers, who won the Super Bowl in 2010, blew a 16-0 halftime lead and lost at Seattle 28-22 in overtime in the 2014 NFC Championship Game.

 

"How do you not think about (getting to the Super Bowl)?" Rodgers said. "We're 60 minutes away from being there again. It's obviously on our minds."

 

 

 

Packers prolly gonna win but lose 15 players in the process and then get steamrolled by the Pats in the SB because of course.

Edited by Vin
gonna gonna gonna

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The Falcons should win this game. They're at home, they're healthier and they're more talented. Having said all of that, the same narrative was true last week against Dallas and the Packers still found a way to win as they have for weeks now. I picked the Packers to because they're on a big win streak and they just knocked off the two best teams in the conference, but could go either way.

Edited by seanbrock

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At the very least we usually get one good conference championship game, and since the Patriots are going to decimate the Steelers, this game should be fun to watch. The Packers are running out of healthy players, but they still seem to be finding ways to achieve victory.

 

:Falcons: 38

:Packers: 34

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If the Packers win, they will find a way to win the SB (I pray). If the Falcons win, they are going to get rolled in the Super Bowl. The entire season and eventual Champion comes down to this game.

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Falcons pass rushers will do way better than Dallas' in terms of getting after Rodgers and slowing him down. The Pack should do ok versus the two headed monster of Freeman & Coleman but I feel that secondary is going to get torched. It is hard to bet against Rodgers but...that Falcons offense should be too good for the Packers defense. Hopefully, the winner of this takes home the trophy.

 

Prediction:

 

:Falcons: 34

:Packers: 21

Edited by BJORN

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Kind of surprised to see so many people taking Atlanta. Guess most of TGP isn't buying the Rodgers hype.

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Falcons pass rushers will do way better than Dallas' in terms of getting after Rodgers and slowing him down. The Pack should do ok versus the two headed monster of Freeman & Coleman but I feel that secondary is going to get torched. It is hard to bet against Rodgers but...that Falcons offense should be too good for the Packers defense. Hopefully, the winner of this takes home the trophy.

 

Prediction:

 

:Falcons: 34

:Packers: 21

 

Beasley is good but that's about it. In week 8, they sacked Rodgers 3 times with 1 coming from Beasley and 2 from Clayborn who is out. I don't see the Falcons getting much pressure with only 4, so Quinn will need to gamble and bring the blitz. I also don't see their defense limiting us to only 21 points, we put up 32 without the likes of Cobb and Cook using guys like Davis, Janis, and Allison. Seahawks moved the ball fairly easy against them but made too many mistakes.

 

It's going to be a shootout and I believe that a late game turnover could prove to be the tipping point.

Edited by Packers Dynasty 2010

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I think they will get more pressure this time, but maybe not more sacks. Bulaga pretty much stone walled Beasley last time. Read a stat on twitter or ESPN or somewhere that Beasley's avg distance to Rodgers was like 6 yards, which was his 2nd furthest average distance from a QB all year.

 

Packers pass rush is what will be key. We need a nice push up the middle and our edge guys to do SOMETHING. Pathetic effort last week in Dallas.

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Yeah the Packers have to try to get creative and play agressive with blitzes to try and force turnovers because it's going to be really hard for them to force The Falcons to punt. Nowhere do they match up with the Falcon's playmakers. That being said this group really stepped up to the plate the last two weeks. It was a good showing holding Dallas to as much as they did in my opinion. If they can make enough stops next week they'll give Rodgers a chance to win it for them.

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The Packers have three healthy WRs... Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis, and Trevor Davis... So they signed rookie Max McCaffrey to the active roster.

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I'm taking the Falcons because Nelson, Adams, and Allison are all hurting and ARod is sick, and Atlanta is at home, AND GB's secondary containing Julio would be a miracle.

 

Rodgers is a legend and is playing out of his mind, I just don't think GB's defense is going to slow down Atlanta much at all.

 

:Falcons: 38

:Packers: 31

Edited by Thanatos
  • Upvote 1

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I was pretty much about to repeat exactly what Thanatos just said.

 

I'll change the score by one point, though. :D

 

:Falcons: 38

:Packers: 30

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Well all of the WRs are active, not sure how well Nelson will do but we'll see. The best news, for the Packers, is that Burnett is active and will be playing. He is probably our smartest DB and is the leader of the secondary, we will need him. As this game nears, I just feel like a key interception will win the game. With that in mind, Rodgers has thrown fewer ints and the Packers' D has the most interceptions of the teams remaining.

 

:Packers: 42

:Falcons: 31

Edited by Packers Dynasty 2010

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On paper, Atlanta should win this game. But the Falcons love finding a way to choke on their dicks in the postseason though (member their last NFCCG appearance when they blew a 17-0 lead to SF?) and it's tough to go against Rodgers when he's on a crazy roll.

 

:Packers: 30

:Falcons: 28

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But the Falcons love finding a way to choke on their dicks in the postseason though (member their last NFCCG appearance when they blew a 17-0 lead to SF?)

Basing the outcome of a game on what a franchise did years ago is the epitome of lazy analysis.

  • Upvote 2

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I am happier that we got blown out than lose some close game. It's obvious who the better team is, who the better coached team who. We know who was more prepared... More ready to play, etc, etc ,etc. It leaves no doubt in our minds and that alone gives me peace. The defense had been running on fumes the entire season and a team like the Falcons is built to exploit that. I am hoping for some wholesale changes in the coming year but not really expecting it.

It was a nice run and I hope Atlanta can pull out a victory in two weeks.

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Embarrassing half for sure. Nobody expected us to be in the NFCCG after that blowout in Washington. Has been one hell of a run, and it felt like we were playing with house money once we made the playoffs.

 

Still, this game needs to be a wakeup call that something needs to be done with the defense. Capers' scheme is old and will not work unless he has the perfect pieces. We refuses to adjust his defense and when a bunch of inexperienced players are forced to play, his scheme cannot stand up. He relies on "unique" blitz packages to force mistakes but any competent QB can diagnose it because his scheme has been the same for last 2 decades. Missed opportunities doesn't help either. Ryan should have easily recovered the fumble, while Evans and Gunter both misplayed their chances at interceptions.

 

Also McCarthy can go suck a fat cock as well, 3 rushing attempts? Are you serious? Ever thought about maybe winning the ToP? Help the defense out. Says he wants Montgomery to touch the ball at least 15 times but refuses to run it.

 

Capers needs to be shown the door, Thompson needs to go after a FA CB, draft another CB, and give Kevin Greene whatever he wants to come back.

Edited by Packers Dynasty 2010

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Embarrassing half for sure. Nobody expected us to be in the NFCCG after that blowout in Washington. Has been one hell of a run, and it felt like we were playing with house money once we made the playoffs.

 

Still, this game needs to be a wakeup call that something needs to be done with the defense. Capers' scheme is old and will not work unless he has the perfect pieces. We refuses to adjust his defense and when a bunch of inexperienced players are forced to play, his scheme cannot stand up. He relies on "unique" blitz packages to force mistakes but any competent QB can diagnose it because his scheme has been the same for last 2 decades. Missed opportunities doesn't help either. Ryan should have easily recovered the fumble, while Evans and Gunter both misplayed their chances at interceptions.

 

Also McCarthy can go suck a fat cock as well, 3 rushing attempts? Are you serious? Ever thought about maybe winning the ToP? Help the defense out. Says he wants Montgomery to touch the ball at least 15 times but refuses to run it.

 

Capers needs to be shown the door, Thompson needs to go after a FA CB, drafted another DB, and give Kevin Greene whatever he wants to come back.

 

I think Ted Thompson is to blame for the defense more than Capers is. Matthews is not a good player and hurt half the time, we give him tens of millions of dollars... Yet we can't fork over 5 million a year for Casey Hayward? Decisions like that have haunted Green Bay.

 

It isn't the time in Aaron Rodgers' career to be a cheap asshole unwilling to put the finishing touches on a team ready to compete for more titles.

 

I do agree though that McCarthy kind of screwed the pooch... He won't even pretend to run the ball. Down by so much and facing so much pressure, I suppose I can understand.. But you are putting a lot of pressure on Aaron and that Oline throwing it 70 times a game. That isn't how we went on a 6 game winning streak to take the division and squeak into the playoffs... But that's how we need to approach the games now? Doesn't make sense. Makes the team so one-dimensional.

 

Ted Thompson needs to step down, he can stay on as a scout if he wants. I wouldn't mind if Capers magically retired, but I am not expecting it.

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I think Ted Thompson is to blame for the defense more than Capers is. Matthews is not a good player and hurt half the time, we give him tens of millions of dollars... Yet we can't fork over 5 million a year for Casey Hayward? Decisions like that have haunted Green Bay.

 

It isn't the time in Aaron Rodgers' career to be a cheap asshole unwilling to put the finishing touches on a team ready to compete for more titles.

 

I do agree though that McCarthy kind of screwed the pooch... He won't even pretend to run the ball. Down by so much and facing so much pressure, I suppose I can understand.. But you are putting a lot of pressure on Aaron and that Oline throwing it 70 times a game. That isn't how we went on a 6 game winning streak to take the division and squeak into the playoffs... But that's how we need to approach the games now? Doesn't make sense. Makes the team so one-dimensional.

 

Ted Thompson needs to step down, he can stay on as a scout if he wants. I wouldn't mind if Capers magically retired, but I am not expecting it.

 

I won't disagree, Matthews is overpaid and something needs to be done with his contract. Who expected Hayward to play the way he did? He wasn't exactly good last season, moves to a different team and excels. New scheme and plays well, coincidence? Thompson refusing to go and sign a big name FA has hurt. We should have pursued the likes of Trevathan or Freeman. Can't completely blame Thompson on the CB situation, nobody saw Shields going down week 1 or Randall/Rollins being injured throughout the season and having very poor seasons.

 

Wouldn't mind if Thompson does step down and Wolf becomes GM, but that is putting a fairly young guy in a leading position. There have been the rumors of Dorsey but Ted and Dorsey are both under contract until 2018, not sure if he can just walk away from the Chiefs.

 

Leaving a 2nd year UDFA in man coverage against the best WR for easy TD. How isn't that Capers' fault?

Edited by Packers Dynasty 2010

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Schneider also apparently has an out in his contract if the Packers GM spot open up -- if Green Bay doesn't think Wolf is the guy.

Who else are you going to put on him? Randall who has been mentally DESTROYED over the last few weeks and who has the confidence of a lindsay lohan sticking her finger down her throat and throwing up her lunch. Nope. Rollins who is coming off an injury and who loves getting torched? Nope.

Give him more safety help? Okay.. fair, but Sanu is going to rape us instead. Or Gabriel... Or Hooper... or one of Atlanta's 500 running backs. We needed our DBs to at least be OK in man situations today, and they haven't been. You know why? Because we don't have the talent. There isn't a corner on this roster who entered this season having more than a year of experience in the NFL.

 

Those guys are young... green.. and ready to get abused. That isn't me saying they have no potential, because I think they do. But the pressure put onto those young and inexperienced players to try and stop a mature and well oiled machine that is Atlanta's offense and playmakers... ? You're joking.

Dom doesn't have the bodies to play his defense. That isn't his fault.

Where is Davon House? Where is Casey Hayward? Not saying they alone have the Packers winning this game, but they don't hurt and at th every least slow the bleeding to give the offense just a little more time (that they obviously needed).

Like I said.. if Dom is replaced, I am not going to riot.

But the problems we had on defense this year are the repercussions from Ted's very strict build through the draft policy.

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Basing the outcome of a game on what a franchise did years ago is the epitome of lazy analysis.

I don't really give a shit... I've lost a ton of interest in watching the NFL... I can barely give analysis on the Pats. :yao:

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