Dirty Bird Daily: Falcons vs. Packers; last call for the Georgia Dome
By Phil Wilds
The Green Bay Packers come back to the Georgia Dome for a rematch with the Atlanta Falcons. The stakes are much higher as a trip to the Super Bowl is on the line.
The votes for MVP have already counted, but the real prize will be decided Sunday when Aaron Rodgers and the Packers visit the Atlanta Falcons. This also means one last home game in the infamous Georgia Dome. It will be the second time the Falcons have met the Packers this season.
Atlanta beat Green Bay 33-32 back in Week 8. MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers torched the Atlanta defense for 246 yards passing, four touchdowns, and also ran for 60 yards. The good news is that Rodgers was about the only offense Green Bay could muster that day. The rest of the Packers only combined for 48-yards on the ground. Matt Ryan wasn’t too shabby either, throwing for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
The game winning strike that day was to Mohammad Sanu with 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The Dome shut down the “12th Man”
If we have learned one thing, it’s that using a regular season match-up as a playoff game measuring stick is meaningless. The Falcons lost to Seattle in Week 6, but that held no bearing when their rematch kicked off on Saturday. The Falcons outplayed the Seahawks on both sides of the ball in the 36-20 divisional playoff ‘beat down’.
Related Story: How the Atlanta fans factored into beating Seattle
The crowd was absolutely a factor in the divisional round win. The decibel level increased each time the Falcons defense took the field. Many within Falcons Nation pulled for the Packers to beat the Cowboys because it meant another chance to provide Atlanta with a home-field advantage.
The pressure is on Green Bay to outscore Atlanta
The Atlanta Falcons have one of the most potent offenses of all time. Green Bay wasn’t able to slow them down back in Week 8 and probably won’t on Sunday. The Packers defense continued to show they’re susceptible to giving up big plays in bunches. It’s going to be on Aaron Rodgers to put the game on his back and outscore Matt Ryan. The Falcons offense has just been historically good this season.
Green Bay held on for dear life last Sunday, winning with a 51-yard field goal as time expired in Dallas. The Packers were up 21-3 halfway through the second quarter, but were outscored 28-13 the rest of the way. Rodgers showed he was human by throwing his first interception since Week 10 against Tennessee. Ironically, that was the last time the Packers lost a game.
Next: Five takeaways from Falcons divisional playoff win
Rodgers looked good throwing the ball, especially to tight end Jared Cook. Cook had 106 yards receiving with a touchdown. His biggest reception was the 36-yard catch along the sideline with three seconds remaining. The play allowed Mason Crosby to knuckle the game winning field goal and send Green Bay to the Georgia Dome.