Packers vs. Falcons: Panic Level——4/10
Things that made Quin happy:
Exploiting Atlanta’s defense in the second half
There wasn’t much if anything good going for the Packers in this game. The notable thing that was good was they exploited the Falcons’ weakness on defense with underneath and screen passes but that didn’t happen until the second half when they were down by 24. In the second half, they finally came around using Ty Montgomery in the passing game (75 yards receiving and a touchdown). If they had done that early to begin with, the game would’ve been more competitive. Those quick passes would’ve also helped against Atlanta’s pass rush.
Things that made Quin mad:
Overall, they played a bad game. Defensively, the secondary looked like they were still in college against the Falcons receivers. Julio Jones, Mohammad Sanu, Justin Hardy and Taylor Gabriel simply put them on skates throughout the game as they were making many wide open catches in the middle of the field. Atlanta had the best offense and least number of turnovers last year so it obviously wasn’t going to be easy but they shouldn’t be leaving receivers wide open. It was the exact same story from the NFC Championship game. They didn’t improve anything or prepare differently for Atlanta.
The offense overall was bad, especially in the first half when Atlanta wasn’t playing garbage time defense. Jordy Nelson getting injured early is a big deal but it is no secret the Packers have an impressive receiving corps and none of them showed up in the first half. No one could get open, make plays and help Aaron Rodgers. Play calling was also predictable as they abandoned the run early along with the deep ball when Nelson went out. Because Atlanta is so great on offense, it is very difficult to stop them, so the only way to beat them is with offense. That should be a possible thing with Rodgers but they couldn’t keep up.
Besides having the best scoring offense in the league last year, the Falcons also had least number of turnovers. It is not easy to get a turnover against Atlanta so the best way to defend that is to also not commit turnovers. The Packers had two turnovers and that is far too many if they were planning on beating the Falcons. Both were surprisingly committed by Aaron Rodgers; an interception and a fumble and both led to touchdowns. That 14 points was the difference and those turnovers immediately killed any momentum the Packers had going and only made Atlanta’s momentum and home crowd even hotter.
The one aspect of the game that annoyed me the most and I thought was the biggest difference maker. The Packers had 10 penalties for a total of 70 yards. What annoyed me the most was it seemed like whatever momentum they could gather on offense was immediately killed by a stupid penalty by someone who wasn’t really involved in the play. In the second quarter, they were backed up to their own endzone and Rodgers threw a big 36-yard pass to Randall Cobb for what was the biggest play of the game for them but it was called back due to an offensive pass interference by Martellus Bennett. In the early third quarter, Rodgers threw a touchdown to Cobb that would’ve been crucial momentum for a comeback but it was nullified after an offensive pass interference by Geronimo Allison and they had to settle for a field goal. Those stupid, unnecessary mistakes killed momentum and took points off the board. A great team like the Falcons won’t lose to a team that does that.