Falcons Make Packers Relive NFC Championship
The only question about the Green Bay Packers’ 34-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons is when was it over?
Was it just before the game, when it was announced that left tackle David Bakhtiari wouldn’t be available? That forced the Packers to use Kyle Murphy at left tackle and the underwhelming duo of Justin McCray and Adam Pankey at right tackle.
Aaron Rodgers would be sacked three times, but the inexperienced line severely limited what the Packers’ offense was able or willing to do.
Or perhaps it was when the Packers lost both defensive tackle Mike Daniels and receiver Jordy Nelson early in the first quarter. Daniels dropped out with a hamstring injury during the first defensive series. Nelson left with a quad injury shortly thereafter. Neither returned.
Or maybe it was right after halftime. The Packers came out in a 24-7 hole, but they started the half with the ball. That is, until the second play. Rodgers dropped back only to find two Falcons right in his face. His desperation chuck ended up being a lateral that was quickly scooped up and returned for a touchdown by Desmond Trufant. 31-7.
Of course, perhaps it was right before the half when Mike McCarthy blew his top. The Packers were penalized for what turned out to be a legal pick on a 36-yard gain by Randall Cobb. Tight end Martellus Bennett was within one yard of the line of scrimmage when he picked off Cobb’s man, which is the legal zone. A penalty was called, the play was wiped out and Rodgers would throw an interception to Trufant two plays later. The Falcons then went on a 36-yard TD drive, culminated by a 3-yard Tevin Coleman reception. Coleman was able to score courtesy of, guess what? A pick.
Then again, it was probably when the Packers stepped on the field. As we expected, this defensive backfield can’t cover anyone. Quinten Rollins was god awful. The Packers mercifully benched him, moved Damarious Randall to the slot and brought in rookie Kevin King around the midway point of the game. Randall wasn’t much better, especially trying to cover Julio Jones. Matt Ryan finished with a 108.0 rating. Jones went for 108 and Mohamed Sanu went for 85. More telling is Jones averaged 21.6 per catch. Sanu averaged 17.0.
In short, pretty much nothing went right for the Packers. This was essentially a replay of the NFC Championship game.
And to top it off, several other guys got injured, including Cobb and cornerback Davon House.
The Packers are lucky Rodgers didn’t get injured, the way he was getting hit.
That’s the biggest positive to come out of this game. And perhaps this is a wake-up call for the Packers.
As we’ve discussed, they own Seattle. Atlanta currently owns the Packers.
The hype train has come to a screeching halt.