Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers: 3 X-Factors for the Falcons

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3. Penalties

For this game, Dan Quinn must advocate a gun-free zone for his team. I say this because the Falcons have recurrently shot themselves in the foot with penalties at crucial times this season. It can be said that penalties were the main reason the team lost to the Buccaneers week 1. Two third down defensive stops were ruined by penalty flags on the defense, eventually leading Tampa Bay scoring on those two possessions.

The same simply cannot be done against Green Bay. The defense has to get off of the field, moreover the offense must also avoid penalties such as false starts which has also been somewhat of a problem as of late.  Just last week, two back to back false starts pushed Atlanta into a 1st in 20 late in the 4th quarter which then lead to Matt Ryan throwing a crucial interception, giving San Diego the ball back, allowing them to tie the game.

The team needs to gear their mind towards being disciplined on all cylinders especially this Sunday. While Matt Ryan is definitely capable of making up for these penalties by his impressive deep throw accuracy, you never want to force your quarterback into wanting to catch up because this could result in crucial interceptions like the one last week.

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Robert Alford is a Dynamic cornerback with tons of speed and potential. However, he is relentlessly struggling with penalties, most prominently pass interference calls. It is sort of like he fails to recognize the speed and talent that he possess causing him to feel as if he has to make contact with the receiver to defend them. Alford is extremely talented and much of his over-contact with the wide-receiver he guards is unnecessary. He must avoid this against Aaron Rodgers and the Packer’s by trusting in his own abilities.

Green Bay is a very disciplined team this season, only totaling 35 penalties to date. If the Falcons can be disciplined with the ball as well and keep that painful yellow flag from hitting the turf, they should set themselves up fairly nicely to move to 5-3.  They cannot afford to shoot themselves in the foot, especially if the game turns into a nail-bitter.