#2. Atlanta shut down Rodgers’ 4th quarter magic before
You can bet that the Atlanta Falcons aren’t going to sit back in max coverage while Aaron Rodgers has all day to stretch the field and throw. If the Cowboys made any mistake last week, it was failing to pressure Rodgers on his earlier drives. That brings me to the point that Atlanta has what Dallas doesn’t in athletic linebackers. These linebackers will come in handy when Rodgers rolls outside the pocket and is looking for Davante Adams deep, down the field
Dallas made another big error in leaving too much time left for that Rodgers “hail mary”-type play inside a minute. His pass to Jared Cook along the sideline wasn’t technically a “hail mary”, but still one of those ‘heave-ho’ plays that opposing defenses keep letting happen. The Falcons won’t let it happen. I know this because I was reminded today that they have already shut it down once this season.
I spent part of today watching the NFL Network’s replay of the Week 8, Falcons vs. Packers contest. It embarrasses me to admit how I had forgotten the Atlanta defense’s last stand in the fourth quarter. We all remember how the Falcons went ahead late with Mohamed Sanu’s touchdown catch. Forgotten is how well the Atlanta secondary shut down Rodgers on the ensuing drive.
The Packers had 30 seconds to move up the field and give Mason Crosby a shot at a walk-off. It’s a scenario we’ve witnessed Green Bay play out multiple times, to include last week in Dallas. Things didn’t turn out as such back in Week 8. Vic Beasley got free of his block on 3rd and 3, just as Rodgers rolled outside the pocket. The throw wasn’t great, but the coverage was. 4th and 3 was more of the same. Rodgers was out of the pocket, Beasley closed, and Rodgers threw the ball before Adams could make the break on his route.