Shawn (9-3) — Prediction? Pain…
Yeah, that might be a cliche by now, but it is totally appropriate. The horsebleep Atlanta Falcons enter this game against the Green Bay Packers dead last in the NFL in total defense. That means they are somehow worse than the Chicago Bears, worse even than semi-pro teams like the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars. Better yet, the Falcons are last in pass defense, giving up a whopping 285 yards per game and on pace to eclipse their own franchise record for yards allowed per pass. They have assembled that impressive resume without facing any top-tier QBs except for one game against Drew Brees. Even though they’ve played 12 games, they’ve only amassed 14 sacks so far this season and now they come to Lambeau Field to rush against an offensive line that just stoned the Patriots for 12 seconds at a time.
Good luck with that.
The Falcons are coming off a high after beating the 9-2 Cardinals at home in perhaps their best game of the season. However, like the Eagles before them, the Falcons are going to find out quickly the stark contrast between Drew Stanton and a Larry Fitzgerald-less Cardinals versus Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Effin Nelson, Randall Cobb and Easy Eddie Lacy.
The Falcons are capable of scoring some points. They do have a bruiser running back in grizzled warrior Steven Action Jackson, and they do have Julio Jones back healthy. The Packers will likely be without Sam Shields, the guy that typically covers Jones. Shields is going through concussion protocol and when Packers players go into concussion protocol, they typically are not seen for at least a week. Davon House will likely take Shields’ place, and given House’s size, it should be a good match-up with Jones. However, House has a way of tanking when inserted as a starter.
Regardless, I think the Packers, with Sam Barrington and Clay Matthews in the middle, will have some luck stuffing Jackson and the rest of the running game. If that is done, it will be on Matt Ryan’s shoulders to keep the Falcons in the ball game. I don’t see it happening for long. The Falcons will need the Packers offense to self-destruct with penalties, dropped balls or turnovers. Otherwise, this seems to be a shootout in which the Falcons are hopelessly outgunned.
By the way, with this being the easiest game they have left, the Packers MUST win this game. I expect they will, by a lot. Aaron Rodgers keeps it rolling, and Eddie Lacy has a good game as well.
Packers 45, Falcons 20
Andrew (9-3) — Everything Shawn just said is correct. In a way, his analysis has alleviated some concerns I have/had about this game.
The Falcons are last in total defense, but statistics can be misleading. Atlanta has played much better ball lately than they did in October, when they went 0-4. In November, the Falcons went 3-1, including an upset win over the NFC’s top-seeded Arizona Cardinals just last week. The Falcons have won their last two on the road and the one loss in the last four games was a two-point heartbreaker at the hands of the upstart Cleveland Browns. This is not a team playing as poorly as its record might indicate.
Could the Falcons storm into Lambeau Field and catch the Packers napping? After all, the whole of Packers Nation is still basking in the glow of a gritty and hard-fought win versus New England. I’m totally guilty of it myself, having watched the 30-minute condensed version of the game again today for the umpteenth time. It was a great win. It was a great game. Many people talked about trap games prior to New England, but this is just as dangerous and likely a spot for a letdown as there is left on the schedule.
The Packers have owned the Falcons. And even though that own-age has really consisted of only two victories, they were substantial enough victories to make the Packers a serious target for this team. If the Packers decide to come in coasting and thinking this game is going to be easy, then they could find themselves in trouble.
But let’s be real here. If this Packers team is going to the places we all talk about at parties, then a letdown is simply out of the question. I was surprised to see the Packers favored by 13.5, but then again, why the hell shouldn’t they be against this Falcons team?
Championship teams with championship-caliber personnel and championship-caliber leadership don’t suffer letdowns.
There will be no letdown. There will only be pain.
Packers 51, Falcons 23
Monty (8-4) — I really hate the Atlanta Falcons. Not like I hate the Minnesota Vikings or Jim Harbaugh, but I hate them more than I should.
I mean, the Atlanta Falcons are completely inconsequential. If the Atlanta Falcons disappeared from the face of the earth, no one would care. No one would be worse off.
I think my hatred for the Falcons stems from the fact that they are essentially a useless blip on the NFL’s map, but also manage to consistently be someone’s darling and generate a certain amount of hype.
Somehow, this year’s turd of a team is in first place in the NFC South. That’s only possible because the NFC South is a fucking garbage dump. Or is it a tire fire?
Choose whichever metaphor you like better and make it your own!
At any rate, my point is 5-7 gets you first place in the NFC South and 5-7 shouldn’t get your first place in anything, much less a division in the NFL.
So let’s see.
There’s the dogshit defense, which is going to be torched by either Aaron Rodgers or Eddie Lacy. Your choice, Atlanta!
The Falcons offense can score because they have a couple good receivers in Julio Jones and Roddy White, but ooooooooooooooooooh! I’m real fuckin’ scared!
They’ll try to balance those receivers with the running of Steven Jackson, who at 74 years old, has 602 yards and is averaging 3.8 yards per carry. Remember when the Packers were going to sign this guy and then Big Ted totally boned it and we all got pissed off?
Haha, yeah. We were stupid, but that will happen when you’re used to heavy doses of Brandon Jackson.
Anyway, let’s talk about the greatest clutch quarterback of all time, Matt Ryan, AKA Matty Ice.
I’m kidding. I hate this fuckface. I hate his fuckface nickname. I hate his fuckface game. I hate his fuckface non-existant personality.
Matt Ryan makes a cardboard box look exciting. If you need one person to rip some lines off an escort’s ass with you, Matt Ryan is definitely not your guy.
The next person that tries to tell me that Matt Ryan is an elite quarterback is getting my fist smashed right into his fuckface. Matt Ryan is elite at one thing. The check down.
Alright, I got that out of my system. It’s true. I am not fond of the Atlanta Falcons or Matt Ryan. The Falcons are not very good this year and the Packers are rolling at home.
Packers 48, Falcons 23