GREEN BAY — A pair of turnovers, one of them on a wacky play, gave the Falcons 14 points in the second quarter as they took a 21-10 lead into halftime on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
The Falcons quickly answered Green Bay’s touchdown on the final play of the first quarter with a seven-play, 78-yard drive for the tying score.
RB Steven Jackson got things started with a 22-yard run. Then, facing third-and-3 on the Green Bay 36-yard line, Falcons QB Matt Ryan hit WR Drew Davis over the middle for a touchdown. Davis beat S Morgan Burnett in coverage and then made S M.D. Jennings miss the tackle in the open field as he cruised into the end zone.
Atlanta wasted no time getting the lead, as S William Moore blitzed untouched on the first play of the Packers’ next possession, sacking QB Matt Flynn and forcing a fumble. Atlanta DE Malliciah Goodman recovered at the Green Bay 13-yard line, and the Falcons needed just four plays to score. Ryan hit a 10-yard pass to WR Roddy White on third-and-9, making it first-and-goal on the 2, and then a play-action pass to a wide-open TE Tony Gonzalez gave the Falcons a 14-7 lead.
The Packers responded with a 40-yard drive for a field goal to cut the deficit to 14-10. Flynn hit passes of 18 and 13 yards to WR Jordy Nelson, but on third-and-9 from the Atlanta 13, Falcons DE Corey Peters sacked Flynn for a 9-yard loss, forcing K Mason Crosby to make a 40-yard FG with 3:39 left in the half.
A wacky play then concluded the half, as the Packers appeared to be driving for a late score. Flynn’s dump-off pass deflected off the hands of FB John Kuhn, and the ball then deflected off the foot of Falcons LB Paul Worrilow and into the hands of LB Sean Weatherspoon, who returned it 71 yards for a TD with 23 seconds left in the half.
The Packers didn’t have much pursuit on the return, with several players believing the play was dead, but replay confirmed the TD as the ball never touched the ground. The score gave the Falcons a 21-10 lead.
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 34 Comments »
GREEN BAY–The Packers held a 7-0 lead over the Falcons after one quarter of play at Lambeau Field on Sunday, thanks to an 18-play, 90-yard drive in the Packers’ first and only possession of the quarter.
The Falcons received the opening kickoff after the Packers deferred their option. A 10-play, 42-yard drive stalled at the Packers 35-yard line and the Falcons punted. The drive mixed run and pass in weather conditions that included nine-degree cold and swirling snow at kickoff.
Green Bay moved from its 10-yard line on a pass to Andrew Quarless and a run by Eddie Lacy, each of which gained a first down. Matt Flynn was sacked on second-and-six and facing third-and-nine, the Falcons were flagged for illegal contact, giving the Packers a first down at the Falcons 45-yard line.
James Starks ran for five yards and a first down at the Falcons 31, then Eddie Lacy pounded out four more yards. On third-and-six from the Falcons 27. Flynn pitched a strike to James Jones for eight yards to the Falcons 19.
Lacy thundered to the 8-yard line on a screen pass. Two plays later, Lacy nearly scored on a short pass but he was stopped at the 1-yard line. Lacy scored on the next play.
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 181 Comments »
Kickoff is roughly an hour away, so here’s the rundown on what matters today at Lambeau Field.
The Packers have been talking about needing a win for more than a month now, and while they can’t be mathematically eliminated from the NFC North race today, a loss could all but end any realistic hopes of playing in the postseason for a fifth straight year.
The Packers, at 5-6-1, trail division-leading Detroit (7-5) by 1 1/2 games, so in order to win the division, the Packers need to win out while the Lions lose twice. That puts intense importance on today, with the Packers hosting the Falcons and the Lions traveling to face the NFC East-leading Eagles.
A Packers win and a Lions loss would put Green Bay just 1/2 game back with three to play, and right in the hunt. That’s the best-case scenario. A loss by the Packers, regardless of what the Lions do, will make it extremely difficult, and perhaps nearly impossible, to win the division.
For a quick look at all the games in the NFC that will affect the playoff race, check out Path to the Playoffs.
Flynn at the helm; O-line intact
For the second straight game, the Packers will start Matt Flynn at QB in place of Aaron Rodgers. This marks Flynn’s first start at Lambeau Field since the 2011 regular-season finale when he set single-game team passing records for yards and TDs. Two weeks ago, Flynn relieved Scott Tolzien and brought the Packers back from a 16-p0int fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime, and the game with the Vikings ended in a tie.
Flynn’s performance last Thursday in Detroit was forgettable, but that was the case for the entire team. One problem among many was the shuffling up front on the offensive line when C Evan Dietrich-Smith went down with a knee injury.
Dietrich-Smith then rolled his ankle in practice on Wednesday, missing both Thursday’s and Friday’s workouts, but he is active and expected to start, so Green Bay’s starting offensive line is intact for now. T Marshall Newhouse is the lone inactive among the offensive linemen due to flu-like symptoms.
Cold day in Green Bay
It’s currently 8 degrees in Green Bay, with the wind chill below zero. Temperatures are expected to rise to as high as 20, with some snow flurries. There could be as much as an inch or two of snow that falls by the end of the game.
With light flurries during pregame, Lambeau Field is currently sporting a dusting of snow. Winds are not significant and that is not expected to change.
One storyline today will be how the Atlanta Falcons react to the cold weather. They have played nine of 12 games this season indoors. None of their three outdoor games has been played north of Charlotte, N.C. Falcons QB Matt Ryan is from Boston College and has played in plenty of cold-weather games in the past, but Atlanta is definitely not used to this.
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 19 Comments »
The following players have been declared as inactive for today’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay Packers
12 QB Aaron Rodgers
13 WR Chris Harper
22 RB Kahlil Bell
51 LB Nate Palmer
74 T Marshall Newhouse
98 DE C.J. Wilson
99 DE Jerel Worthy
10 QB Matt Flynn will start for Rodgers.
30 RB Josh Vaughn
36 S Kemal Ishmael
53 LB Omar Gaither
69 G Harland Gunn
74 T Terren Jones
77 T Sean Locklear
92 DT Travian Robertson
Tags: #ATLvsGB, atlanta falcons, inactives
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 6 Comments »
- Green Bay’s 4,794 yards this season (No. 5 in the NFL) are the second most by the team through 12 games in franchise history, trailing only the 4,863 yards posted in the first 12 games in 2011.
- The Packers have posted at least 350 yards of offense in 13 of their last 15 regular-season games.
- Green Bay has had at least one 100-yard receiver in eight of 12 games this season and is tied for No. 1 in the NFL with 10 100-yard receivers on the season. The Packers need one more 100-yard receiver to tie the single-season team record set in 1995 (11).
- The Packers rank No. 4 in the NFL with 57 plays of 20-plus yards this season.
- Green Bay needs 10 points outside of the red zone for its seventh straight 100-point season as far as scoring outside of the red zone. The Packers and Dallas are tied for the NFL lead with six consecutive 100-point seasons (2007-12).
- Green Bay’s defense has recorded 14 sacks over the last four games, which is tied for No. 2 in the NFL over that span.
- The Packers have posted seven takeaways in their last four games, which is tied for No. 6 in the NFL over that span.
- Green Bay ranks No. 7 in the NFL this season in penalties with 67 through 12 games, including just 26 penalties over the last six contests.
- RB Eddie Lacy has rushed for 771 yards over the last eight games, which ranks No. 2 in the NFL over that span.
- Lacy needs one rushing TD to set the single-season franchise mark for the most rushing TDs by a rookie. He has six on the season, which is tied with Samkon Gado (2005) for the team record.
- WR Jordy Nelson needs 39 receiving yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
- Nelson needs six receptions to set a new career high for his most catches in a season (68 in 2011).
- Nelson is tied for the NFL lead with 14 catches of 25-plus yards this season. That is two shy of the top mark by a Packer since 1994 (Nelson, 16 in 2011; Greg Jennings, 16 in 2010).
- LB A.J. Hawk is two tackles shy of the 1,000-tackle mark for his career, which would make him just the fourth player in franchise history (since 1975) to reach that total (LB John Anderson, LB Nick Barnett, S Johnnie Gray).
- LB Clay Matthews needs 1.5 sacks to hit the 50-sack mark for his career. He is looking to become the fifth player in team annals (since 1982) to register 50 career sacks in a Green Bay uniform (DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, DE Reggie White, LB Tim Harris, DE/LB Aaron Kampman).
- CB Tramon Williams has posted an interception in two of the last three games. Including playoffs, Williams has 17 interceptions since 2010, which is tied for No. 1 in the NFL over that span (Ed Reed).
- With 870 career points, K Mason Crosby needs five more to set an NFL record for the most points scored by a player in his first seven seasons in the NFL (Colts K, Mike Vanderjagt, 874, 1998-2004).
- P Tim Masthay has placed 11 punts inside the 20-yard line in the last five games, which is tied for No. 5 in the league over that span.
Tags: #ATLvsGB, atlanta falcons, what to watch for
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 1 Comment »
- The Packers (5-6-1) will take on the Atlanta Falcons (3-9) today at Lambeau Field, the first meeting between the clubs in Green Bay since Week 5 of the 2008 season.
- Today’s game was originally scheduled to be a prime-time matchup, but was shifted to a noon kickoff through the league’s flexible scheduling.
- Green Bay is currently third in the NFC North at 5-6-1 after losing to the Lions, 40-10, on Thanksgiving in Detroit. The Packers trail the Lions (7-5) and Chicago (6-6) as they head into the final month of the season.
- Today will be a matchup of two of the most successful teams in the NFC in recent years. Since 2009, the Packers rank No. 2 in the conference with 52 regular-season wins, trailing only New Orleans (53). The Falcons rank No. 3 in the NFC over that span with 48 victories.
- Including two playoff meetings (1995 and 2002 seasons), the Packers and Falcons have met nine times before at Lambeau Field, with Green Bay holding a 5-4 edge at the stadium. The teams also squared off five times in Milwaukee between 1966-1994, including the last NFL game played in the city on Dec. 18, 1994, a 21-17 Green Bay win.
- The Packers hold a 15-13 edge in the all-time series (including playoffs). Green Bay topped the Falcons, 48-21, at the Georgia Dome in a 2010 NFC Divisional playoff game (Jan. 15, 2011) on its way to a Super Bowl XLV title.
- This will be just the second time that the Falcons have played a regular-season game at Lambeau Field in December or January, with the only other instance coming on Dec. 21, 1975, a 22-13 Green Bay win in the season finale in 12-degree weather.
- The Packers enter today’s contest having won 12 consecutive regular-season games at Lambeau Field that were played Dec. 1 or later, the longest current home winning streak in the league in games played in December/January. San Francisco’s 11-game winning streak at home in games played Dec. 1 or later is the No. 2 current mark in the league.
- Since 2009, the Packers have a 15-5 (.750) overall record in December/January, which ranks No. 2 in the NFL over that span behind only New England (18-3, .857). Green Bay’s 11-0 mark (1.000) at home in December/January over that span is tied for the best winning percentage in the league with the 49ers (9-0, 1.000).
- The Packers have won 10 of their last 13 regular-season games at home with one tie and 23 of their last 27 with one tie at Lambeau Field.
- Green Bay enters today’s game with a 33-12-1 record over their last 46 regular-season games, a .728 winning percentage that is tied for No. 2 in the NFL over that span (San Francisco, 33-12-1) behind only New England (36-10, .783).
WEARING THE STRIPES
- Today’s officiating crew includes referee Bill Leavy (127), umpire Ruben Fowler (71), head linesman John McGrath (5), line judge Mark Perlman (9), field judge Jimmy Buchanan (86), side judge Keith Parham (87) and back judge Keith Ferguson (61).
Tags: #ATLvsGB, atlanta falcons, press box notes
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 2 Comments »
As per team tradition, the Packers select game captains each week. Today’s captains will be WR James Jones (offense), LB Clay Matthews (defense) and CB Jarrett Bush (special teams).
Tags: #ATLvsGB, atlanta falcons, captains, clay matthews, james jones, jarrett bush
Posted in Packers.com Blog | No Comments »
The check presentation took place Saturday, Dec. 7, at the UWGB-Virginia basketball game at the Resch Center during the first media timeout of the game. Murphy, Foundation Chairman Charlie Lieb and trustees Tom Arndt, Terry Fulwiler and John Zakowski, along with Packers director of information technology Wayne Wichlacz, a UWGB graduate, made the presentation to UWGB Chancellor Tom Harden.
Posted in Packers.com Blog | No Comments »
Download the Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons roster card here.
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 8 Comments »
Last week, QB Matt Flynn got a couple of short, walk-through practices to get ready for his first Packers start of 2013.
This week, Flynn was able to get a full, normal week of preparation for his second straight start in place of Aaron Rodgers, and he expects that to make a big difference.
“Without a doubt,” he said. “I feel like I’m calling the plays and not really thinking about where guys are lining up and what they’re running. I feel more fluid with everybody and feel we can get a little chemistry going.”
Any and all fluidity was lost last week against the Lions, a game Flynn says you just have to “forget about.” Detroit packed eight and sometimes nine defenders at the line of scrimmage, daring the Packers to beat them with the pass, and Flynn says it’s up to the offense to take advantage of those situations, which leave single coverage on the outside against the wide receivers.
“It should be a quarterback’s dream,” he said. “Obviously last week we didn’t execute, but that’s over with, and we need to get it done and play like the Green Bay Packers.”
Up front, the Packers could be shuffling on the offensive line again, with C Evan Dietrich-Smith listed as questionable after missing practice on Friday. He injured his ankle on Wednesday, and the Packers have a few different ways they could go in his absence.
Flynn expects the Falcons to give the Packers a number of different defensive looks to try to confuse them with their pass-protection assignments. Given that, it will be important to trust the offense and the preparation. As much as everyone wants to make up for the disaster in Detroit, that can’t be the mentality come kickoff on Sunday.
“We don’t go out and try to make something happen, we don’t go and try to press and be something we’re not,” Flynn said. “We go out there to execute, and if we play our best, it should be good enough.”
Tags: matt flynn
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 27 Comments »