All season long the Atlanta Falcons have been finding new ways to lose. They have had issues with poor play calling, poor time management, and poor performance. Overall this season for the Atlanta Falcons has been just that, poor. In a year were the Falcons were expected to take a leap back to where they were just a few years ago, they have done the exact opposite. When NFL fans got their first look at the Falcons in the HBO series “Hard Knocks”, they saw a team that was hungry and ready to show the league what they can do.
As the season has progressed, the team has not. They now own a record of 5-8 with only three games remaining. Despite having a record that bad, they are in fact still tied for first place in the NFC South with the New Orleans Saints. Tied for first with that record doesn’t depict how good the Falcons are but rather how bad the entire division is.
The Packers on the other hand have been playing lights out football. Green Bay started this season with a devastating loss to the Seattle Seahawks on opening night. Struggles led to quarterback Aaron Rodgers telling all Green Bay fans to simply “relax”. The word has definitely worked as Green Bay has sole possession of the NFC North and is tied for the best record in the NFC.
On Monday Night it was a matchup of two teams headed in different directions. The Falcons have been a team that has the reputation of not being able to play in adverse weather conditions. Green Bay is obviously used to weather that can occur in Green Bay, Wisconsin in December. It was cold, there were a few snow flurries, and the Packers dominated the game. Make no mistakes, the game was decided by six points, but the Falcons could not match the product Green Bay put on the field in front of their home crowd.
Aaron Rodgers played in his 100th career game and managed to throw three touchdowns and zero interceptions. The two headed rushing attack in the form of James Starks and Eddie Lacy gave the Packers their highest total amount of rushing yards this season with 179 yards. It was the defense on the other hand that kept Atlanta in the game to some extent.
At halftime the score was 31-7 in favor of Green Bay. In order for the Falcons to have any shot they would have to air out the ball in the second half. Matt Ryan threw for 375 yards in the contest. Julio Jones was the benefactor of the yards catching 11 passes for a career high 259 yards. A hip injury forced Julio to leave the game early and he would not return. With only 2:11 left in the game the Falcons scored a touchdown that trimmed their deficit to six. An onside kick attempt did not get the bounce that the Falcons needed to try and overtake the lead. The Monday night matchup was a tale of two halves. Green Bay took a commanding lead in the first, and Atlanta did everything they could in the second half to get the game back in control. Next up for Green Bay will be a trip to Buffalo to play the Bills, and the Falcons head home to face the Steelers.