Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers: Winners and Losers from 2023's week 2 game

Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons
Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Falcons are giving their fans hypertension with their close games. That didn't change in week 2 with a victory over the Green Bay Packers. On initial watch, some things stood out both for the positive and the negative. The biggest thing is that the Falcons are 2-0 and have both a division win and two conference wins as their 2-0 start. There's not a better way to start a season than that. Atlanta needed this win to show that they could come back from down two scores to win a game. And they did just that.

Winner: Special Teams

While it's an unheralded spot on the team, and while Younghoe Koo missed an extra point kick, the Falcons were able to play a great game on special teams. Koo was 4-for-4 on his field goal attempts and Mike Hughes had a solid day returning the ball. More than that, the Falcons were able to hold the line on kick returns and not allow Keisean Nixon to return a kick back past the 25 yard line. Nixon is a Pro Bowl caliber returner and to hold him to substandard field position was a big win—especially on the last kickoff to not give the Packers a big momentum swing on the end.

Loser: The Referees (and maybe the rules committee)

The referees were atrocious in this one. While on the surface, it will look like they called it relatively evenly with the Packers having seven penalties to the Falcons six, they missed a few calls that were crucial on certain drives. On a 3rd-and-9 scramble by Ridder where he went out of bounds, he was hit late by Preston Smith. They missed the call there and the Falcons were unable to covert the fourth down play. Had that been a first down play, it would have changed the game a good bit.

They also missed a call on a touchdown that they reviewed and overturned that Mack Hollins had his toes in. Maybe the rule is the heels have to be in bounds, but either way, the call made no logical sense. Maybe the issue is that the rule isn't logical there. But if a player gets his toes in and catches the ball in the end zone, that is a touchdown. There's no reason why that should be anything but that.