The Falcoholic’s crack squad of writers, editors, and hot take artists predict the outcome of tonight’s game. What’s your prediction?
The Packers seek to avenge the 44-21 beatdown the Falcons gave them in the NFC Championship Game, but they won’t find what they’re looking for on Sunday night. Atlanta’s offense “struggled” in a 23-17 road win last week against a Chicago Bears defense many peg as underrated. Green Bay’s defense took advantage of an abysmal Seattle Seahawks offensive line en route to a 17-9 victory, but unfortunately for them, things should be a bit different this week. Oh, yeah, and there’s the fact it will be the first time the Falcons play a regular season game in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Packers don’t stand a chance — you heard it here first.
Falcons 64, Packers 3
He looked different now. His 1970s mustache was gone and his beard was gray. Aaron looked straight ahead; not at the interviewer, and not at anything in particular. It looked like he’d seen something he couldn’t unsee, his eyes glazed over and his bottom lip quivering. Aaron didn’t want to do this interview. His agent, some no name guy fresh out of law school, made him do it, said it’d get it his name out there again. He just liked to stay in bed these days. “I remember it like it was yesterday,” he said. “I didn’t see him, I couldn’t see him. It’s like Dan Quinn knew exactly what play we were going to call. And then I felt it, Beasley’s body just crashing into my back, like fifteen sledge hammers, all at once. Two plays later, that’s when the fumble happened. Beasley hit me again and I couldn’t hold on. I’d never been hit so hard in my entire life. I remember watching him run downfield with the football. I remember watching him score and I remember the roar of the crowd. I was never the same after that.” Aaron wanted to tell them about the fallout, he wanted to describe how he became the next David Carr. But he couldn’t, because it didn’t even make sense to him. It wasn’t a head injury or CTE or anything like that; Beasley’s hits were clean. Maybe he was lucky to get out the game when he did, Aaron thought. It saved his body and his mind. That game, that September game back in ‘17 though, it changed everything.
Falcons 28, Packers 3 27
Ignore the week one anomalies for both teams and pay attention to the talent on the field. This week is about how the Packers and Falcons match-up with each other. On paper, the Falcons offense has an advantage over an awful Green Bay secondary and sub-par linebacker play. However, Mike Daniels matching up against Wes Schweitzer could be a game changer. On the opposite side, the Falcons defense has the speed and talent to match-up with the Packers receivers, but will the pass rush get home enough to stop Aaron Rodgers from buying time. Ultimately, I do think the Falcons get a slight edge here due to better overall talent on defense and it being the first home game in Mercedes Benz stadium. This one could get really uncomfortable for Falcons fans, though, so have your favorite alcohol of choice nearby.
Packers 31, Falcons 28
I had this as a loss when the schedule came out, and after watching week 1, I feel a little more comfortable making this prediction. We got red hot at the end of last season bludgeoning two crappy teams to death and then bludgeoning our weakling division rivals before embarrassing two (and three-quarters…) pretty strong teams. Much as I wish an 0-16 season on Kyle Shanahan, nobody can deny he had the offense running at a historic level. Yes, it’s only been a week, but I don’t feel quite the same about the way Sark has run the offense to this point. The defense has been hot and cold for me so far. Still a work in progress. I think all that, combined with the fact that the Packers are much healthier this time around, means we’ll open MBS with a loss. We can’t win them all and I’m very much in show-me mode with this defense, so we’ll see.
Falcons 31, Packers 27
This is going to be a great game to open up the Falcons’ fancy new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Despite the offense looking rather sluggish in Week 1, they were still a top-10 unit by most metrics. They were also on the road against a very underrated defense. This week, Atlanta gets a Green Bay team with a pretty banged-up offensive line at home. The Packers defense looked pretty good against the Seahawks, but it's hard to know how much credit they deserve. The Falcons will be a much stiffer test with an actual NFL-caliber offensive line. I think the game will be close, but Quinn seems to have Rodgers’ number. Falcons get the edge at home.
Packers 34, Falcons 27
With the offense not exactly firing on all cylinders, Atlanta will have a difficult time keeping pace with Aaron Rodgers. All of Green Bay’s wide receivers are healthy, which wasn’t the case in the NFC Championship game. They appear to have found their answer at running back in Ty Montgomery. The Packers’ offense looks more solidified on every level. Wes Schweitzer is a major question mark, while the running game needs to be more productive. This is the third meeting between both teams in one calendar year. For the Falcons to beat a great team with the best quarterback in the league in three consecutive matchups would be remarkable. They won’t have enough firepower to do it again. Montgomery is going to be a matchup nightmare.
Falcons 30, Packers 28
I’m expecting the Falcons to kick a frustrating number of field goals in this one—I’m predicting three—and to stall out on or two drives along the way as they find their way offensively. I think the defense will be able to hold Green Bay under 30 points, however, and harry Aaron Rodgers all day long. With just enough offense and just enough defense, the Falcons get their second straight squeaker, run it to 2-0, and give themselves a solid foundation to build on the rest of the way.