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By the Numbers Stats Preview: Packers @ Falcons

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How does the explosive offense of the Falcons match-up against the solid defense of the Green Bay Packers?

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers travel to the Georgia Dome on Sunday to take on the Atlanta Falcons in what would normally be a battle of two high-powered offenses. However, this year that is not the case.

Green Bay has been mediocre this season on offense, with Rodgers struggling to make plays and the Packers’ WRs failing to create consistent separation. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s offense has been firing on all cylinders, with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones leading the league at their positions.

What can we expect from this must-win match-up for the Falcons? Let’s take a look at the statistics.

Offense

Total Points/game: Atlanta Falcons 32.7 (1st), Green Bay Packers 23.3 (14th)
Total Yards/game: Atlanta Falcons 433.6 (1st), Green Bay Packers 344.2 (21st)
Passing Yards/game: Atlanta Falcons 319.0 (2nd), Green Bay Packers 239.3 (20th)
Passing TDs: Atlanta Falcons 16 (3rd), Green Bay Packers 13 (T-7th)
Rushing Yards/game: Atlanta Falcons 114.6 (14th), Green Bay Packers 104.8 (19th)
Rushing TDs: Atlanta Falcons 7 (T-10th), Green Bay Packers 2 (31st)
Third Down Efficiency: Atlanta Falcons 39% (17th), Green Bay Packers 51% (1st)
Turnover Margin: Atlanta Falcons +2 (T-11th), Green Bay Packers -2 (T-19th)

Defense

Total Points/game: Atlanta Falcons 28.4 (27th), Green Bay Packers 20.5 (T-11th)
Total Yards/game: Atlanta Falcons 386.1 (26th), Green Bay Packers 314.0 (7th)
Passing Yards/game: Atlanta Falcons 294.3 (31st), Green Bay Packers 242.2 (15th)
Passing TDs: Atlanta Falcons 15 (T-29th), Green Bay Packers 10 (13th)
Rushing Yards/game: Atlanta Falcons 91.9 (9th), Green Bay Packers 71.8 (1st)
Rushing TDs: Atlanta Falcons 7 (T-20th), Green Bay Packers 1 (1st)
Third Down Efficiency: Atlanta Falcons 42% (20th), Green Bay Packers 33% (3rd)
Sacks: Atlanta Falcons 15 (T-14th), Green Bay Packers 17 (T-9th)

As we’ve become accustomed to this season, the Falcons once again dominate the offensive statistics. Atlanta remains first in points and total yardage, but are no longer the #1 passing offense. Meanwhile, Green Bay is a below average offense statistically, ranking 21st in total yards, 20th in passing and 19th in rushing. They’re excellent on third down, however, converting 51% of their attempts (1st in the league).

On defense, the reverse is true. Green Bay is a solid defensive team, ranking no worse than 15th in any major statistic. Notably, they’re 11th in points allowed, 7th in total yards, and 1st in rushing yards and TDs (only 1 rushing TD allowed). Meanwhile, the Falcons defense continues to flounder. They’re solid in run defense (9th) and, surprisingly, sacks (T-14th). In everything else they are 20th or worse.

The key to this game will be Atlanta’s ability to move the ball on offense. If Ryan and Co. can keep the Packers offense off the field, it will help the defense contain Rodgers. The Falcons might have a tough time of it, though, as the Packers are excellent against the run. With the Packers being down several starting CBs, Atlanta must attack early and often through the air.

Green Bay’s plan will probably be the same as Atlanta’s: keep the opposing team’s offense off the field. Last week, the Packers destroyed Chicago with passes out of the backfield, as well as short-to-intermediate routes. While Green Bay has little to no run game at this point, the Falcons will have to play better in the short passing game on defense if they want to stop the Packers.

What do you think about how these two teams match-up statistically? Can Atlanta pull out the win they so desperately need?