Packers to host Falcons for the first time since 2008

Posted by packers.com on December 8, 2013 – 9:00 am

– 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).


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J. Jones, Matthews and Bush are captains vs. Falcons

Posted by packers.com on December 8, 2013 – 8:00 am

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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).


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Falcons coach Mike Smith and QB Matt Ryan on the Packers

Posted by Duke Bobber on December 4, 2013 – 2:32 pm

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Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith and QB Matt Ryan were made available to the media via conference call Wednesday. Listen to Smith and Ryan talk about Sunday’s game in Green Bay.


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Aging Falcons have big decisions to make

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on February 22, 2013 – 11:11 am

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INDIANAPOLIS–The Atlanta Falcons have gone full cycle and GM Thomas Dimitroff said this year’s draft and free agency period will be critical in reshaping the team’s roster and keeping the Falcons at the top of the NFC South.

“In 2008, we were the youngest team in the league and now we’re one of the oldest. We have difficult decisions to be made. We’re here to see how the talent compares to our talent,” Dimitroff said at the scouting combine on Friday.

“It seems like there’s a nice group of players on both fronts. There’s a nice safety group. There’s solid talent all the way down to 32,” Dimitroff said in evaluating this year’s draft class.


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Falcons coach says it’s a third down league

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on February 25, 2012 – 3:03 pm

INDIANAPOLIS–It was a couple of failed fourth-down plays in a playoff loss to the Giants that helped end the Falcons’ season, but Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith says the NFL is a third down league.

“You have to play them to get to third down. That’s when you get into situational football and that’s where the game is really played. Pass rush is very important to win on third down,” Smith said during his media conference at the scouting combine. “Your predominant defense is a five-defensive back package. You’re seeing more teams playing six defensive backs.”

The Falcons had never enjoyed consecutive winning seasons until Smith came along. Now they’ve had four in a row. So what are they saying about Smith? He hasn’t won a playoff game.

That’s life as a head coach. Unless you win them all, somebody’s going to complain.

There were complaints about Smith’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-one twice in the playoff loss to the Giants. It was one of the first questions posed to Smith in his press conference at the scouting combine on Saturday. He smiled and said: “When it doesn’t work, it’s not a good call. When it works, it’s a great call.”

Just win, baby.


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Packers play at 3:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, Jan. 15

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 1, 2012 – 10:34 pm

The Packers’ NFC Divisional playoff game has been slated for 3:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, Jan. 15, at Lambeau Field. The opponent will be either the Lions, the Falcons or the Giants.

The Packers have a first-round bye in the playoffs and then host the divisional round. As the No. 1 seed, the Packers will play the lowest remaining seed after Wild Card weekend.

The lowest seed, No. 6 Detroit, plays at No. 3 New Orleans in the Wild Card round, and the Lions would come to Green Bay if they beat the Saints. Should New Orleans win that game, the Packers would get the winner of the other NFC Wild Card game, which will pit No. 5 seed Atlanta at the No. 4 New York Giants, who beat the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East on Sunday night.


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