A tale of a couple likely playoff foes will square off Sunday as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers travel to the Georgia Dome to do battle with the surprising Atlanta Falcons. Truthfully, nobody expected all that much out of Atlanta in 2016 – especially following their dismal collapse last season. This year however, it’s been a great start for the Falcons and head coach Dan Quinn. Despite losing last week, Atlanta enters with a 4-3 record, and a real good shot at winning the NFC South.
For the Packers, they’ve been a head-scratching team all season long. Nobody knows what to expect when they take the field. In Week 7, Green Bay squeaked by a putrid Bears team, and still haven’t looked themselves on offence. Something seems up with Aaron Rodgers at the moment, and if this Green Bay squad can’t get things together shortly – they stand a real chance of missing out on the post-season. Let’s see how some extra rest treats as they head into a pivotal all-NFC showdown.
This game has serious playoff implications as we reach the midway point of the 2016 season. Read on below for a full game breakdown and full prediction for Falcons and Packers.
Packers vs. Falcons Betting Odds:
Green Bay Packers +3 (-110)
@ Atlanta Falcons -3 (-110)
Over 53 (-105)
Under 53 (-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Packers vs. Falcons Pick:
One of the biggest factors entering this big contest for both teams, is the fact that the Packers have had a full 10 days to prepare for Atlanta. Following playing Thursday of Week 7 and beating Chicago, Green Bay has had ample time to scout and get ready for the Falcons. This extra long layoff has likely allowed key wideout for the Packers, Jordy Nelson, to heal up and regroup for the second half. Nelson hasn’t gotten off to the start he would have hoped for, and he’ll need to be much more impactful to get this offence rolling.
That said, Green Bay is still blessed with many talented and emerging options. Randall Cobb is listed as questionable, but is expected to play. And Ty Montgomery and Davante Adams have been huge revelations in recent weeks. Though Atlanta has been solid of late, no team can properly defend the Packers with all of their weapons at the moment. One big flaw for the Falcons is their pass rush. Rodgers has struggled with aggressive ones in the past, but Atlanta offers very little in this regard. Rodgers will have ample time and space in the pocket, and still has the capability to bury opposing secondaries.
On the other side of the football, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have been dynamite this season. There’s no way to truly stop this connection, but the Packers will hope to limit their effectiveness. Look for the Packers to do this by trying to generate a ton of pressure on Ryan. Atlanta has shown vulnerability of late on their right side, so look for Green Bay to find a breakthrough there. On the ground, with Tevin Coleman out to injury, all the Packers need to worry about is slowing down Devonta Freeman. They shouldn’t have much difficulty with this as they have been stellar against the run all season long.
The Falcons are better than we all anticipated, but they still have some flaws. As was seen last week when they let a sure win slip away at home to San Diego, Atlanta struggles to close teams out. Green Bay has a ‘sleeping giant’ type of offence, and with extra rest and time to prepare, look for the Packers to be able to move the chains on Sunday. The Falcons do also have a big Thursday night all NFC-South divisional showdown game coming up, which they may be guilty of looking forward to. With the Packers getting three points, that’s too many to pass up. Expect a vintage outing from Green Bay, leaving the Georgia Dome with the outright win as well!
PICK = Packers +3 (-110)