Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers Preview: The Aaron Rodgers Project


The Atlanta Falcons have Sunday afternoon off, but there is a big-time challenge awaiting them on Monday evening in Green Bay. The Falcons will face off with the red-hot Packers at Lambeau Field, and with a national television audience basically declaring Green Bay as the winner before the game even begins, this is an interesting spot. Earlier in the week, we gave you the blueprint for an Atlanta victory, and now, we will preview the festivities in full. Let’s go.

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

Time/TV: 8:3o pm ET (Monday), ESPN

Falcons Offense vs. Packers Defense

This is the side of the ball that should actually provide some optimism on the Atlanta side of things. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones got together to decimate Patrick Peterson and the Arizona defense a week ago, and frankly, Green Bay isn’t as good as Arizona on the defensive side.

However, the Packers are weaker against the run (28th in the NFL), which isn’t exactly an ideal match-up for the Falcons. Still, Steven Jackson has looked infinitely more spry in recent weeks, and with Devonta Freeman ratcheted up his play as well, there is a scenario where Atlanta is able to run the ball semi-effectively.

The passing game is where the Falcons will make their real imprint, though, and Roddy White‘s status is up in the air for this game. Julio Jones and Harry Douglas did more than enough last week, but White provides the possession option that will allow Ryan and company to keep drives alive, and keeping Aaron Rodgers off the field as much as possible is the best-case scenario for the road team in this spot.

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Falcons Defense vs. Packers Offense

As mentioned, Aaron Rodgers is pretty good at football, and keeping him on the sideline is everything. He’s going to take the field at some point, though, and fear strikes in every Atlanta fan’s heart for that time period. Any long-time Falcons supporter will remember Rodgers eviscerating the Falcons in the Georgia Dome in the playoffs, but this year, Atlanta is 32nd (i.e. last) in the league against the pass, and Rodgers may be the best player in the NFL.

Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb present problems for Atlanta, and Desmond Trufant can only cover one of them. In my world, Trufant would match up one-on-one with Nelson, and that will allow Cobb to run wild. That is less than ideal, but multiple coverages could be used to bottle up Cobb, and because Green Bay’s other receivers are not quite as dangerous, prayer can aid in slowing them down as well.

The running battle is a bit more favorable for the Atlanta Falcons, with Eddie Lacy and company ranking in the bottom half of the league on the ground. Last week’s success against the Cardinals is encouraging, and it certainly would benefit Atlanta to make the Packers completely one-dimensional, even if that dimension is led by Aaron Rodgers.


The Atlanta Falcons probably won’t win on Monday night, and frankly, they can still win the NFC South when and if they do. Still, this is a “puncher’s chance” opportunity in front of the entire NFL world, and hopefully, it will be a strong performance from the team wearing red and black.

Stay tuned for post-game coverage, and a live game thread that will post on Sunday morning. In addition, be sure to follow ATL All Day for the latest on the Atlanta Falcons.