First off, have to eat crow for last week projecting a loss. Wasn’t a disbelief in this team but rather trusting home field advantage that doesn’t exist in this years NFL. Neutral football field shows Aaron Rodgers is the greatest gift to football and all future posts will reflect that. Green Bay continues to light up the scoreboard and don’t imagine that stopping this week.
The 3-0 Green Bay Packers have Atlanta Falcons (0-3) coming to town in another primetime showdown of NFC quarterbacks. As laughable as the Falcons defense has been, their offense is capable of putting up stacks of points with a gang of weapons like Julio Jones, Todd Gurley, Hayden Hurst, Russel Gage and the emerging star Calvin Ridley.
Monday’s matchup depends on the potent Green Bay offense averaging 40.7 ppg versus the Falcons defense allowing 36 ppg in addition to 463.3 yards per game. Rodgers will be relied on to carry the G without his top two receivers as Allen Lazard battled a core injury last week ultimately ending up on injured reserve for multiple weeks. Davante Adams will miss his second consecutive game although his recently deleted subtweets towards the Packers medical team suggest he feels good to go.
Tonight’s starting wide receivers will be MVS and a rotation of Darius Shepherd or Malik Taylor. Expect LaFleur to load the field with tight ends Bobby Tonyan and Jace Sternberger to not only establish the dominant run game but also as big bodied receivers.
Guessing Everyone. This figures to be a shootout as most NFL games have been this season as the over as hit in 60% of games this season with road teams covering the spread 55.7% of the time.
Atlanta is the 3rd worst in points allowed to quarterbacks and they’ve played 1 less game than 26 other teams. They’re allowing 39.1 ppg in standard scoring and just allowed the dual QB combo of Trubisky/Foles to pass for 316 yards with 4 TDs while pulling out 2 interceptions. Rodgers has nearly 900 yards and 9 TDs with zero picks in his first 3 games. Regardless of the weak spots in Atlanta’s secondary, LaFleur wants to run the ball and we have successively so I don’t see a shift from the normal gameplan.
Rodgers throws for 325 yards and 3 TDs
Aaron Jones & Jamaal Williams
Aaron Jones is the stud of this offense with or without Davante. With Adams out, expect to see Aaron Jones showcase his route running ability and more carries for Jamaal. Don’t sleep on Jamaal getting involved in the passing game as it has been an area of focus for his improvement. LaFleur’s ability to offer variant looks within motions and shifts gives Rodgers the ability to take what the defense presents. Atlanta’s defense does fairly well against the run but they’ve faced Seattle, Dallas and Chicago all who haven’t focused on the run game this season.
Here is his opportunity to showcase the reliability he did in the Detroit game earlier this year. He was able to make tough catches and make big plays. Can he do it as the main receiver and get open for QB1? Tonight’s an easy opponent to highlight his progress and expect him to get multiple looks for home run shots. Atlanta gives up the 4th most ppg to opposing WRs. Opportunity for everyone to eat.
Bobby Tonyan & Jace Sternberger
The Falcons surrender an 81.8% catch rate to TEs which is 3rd worst mind you Green Bay is dead last with 91.7%. Difference is Green Bay gives up 4.6 ppg to TEs while Atlanta gives up league worst 15.9 ppg. Jace and Bobby will both be depended on to block and benefit from athleticism for the play action looks.
Their ability to be the second option on read option style plays figures to keep them both heavily involved throughout the game. With the top pass catchers missing, expect them to split out more and give mismatches against smaller secondary.
Green Bay has to overcome injuries and contain the offensive juggernauts from Atlanta. Matt Ryan is going to move this offense up and down the field and it’s my assumption it will be a one score game with loads of points on the board.
Green Bay survives the shootout: 35-31
Go Pack Go!