The Green Bay Packers came into this game missing their two top receivers and several other players and with a 3-0 record. The Falcons are getting healthier and desperate to avoid their first 0-4 start since the turn of the millennia. Can an offense featuring Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley drag Atlanta to a victory over the red hot Aaron Rodgers? Read on to find out.
From their 27, the Packers offense starts with Aaron Rodgers pressured and missing deep. Rodgers then finds Robert Tonyan deep across the middle for 27 and the first. After a gain of 8 on the pass to Aaron Jones, he carries it for 9 more on 2nd down. He carries the ball again for 24 yards on the very next carry to set up 1st and goal. After stopping Jones for no gain on 2nd down, on 3rd and goal Rodgers finds Aaron Jones wide open. Like, wide wide open.
Falcons 0, Packers 7
With their 2nd possession, a pass to Ridley goes nowhere after he slips and a 4 yard run on 2nd sets up 3rd and 6. On that down, Ryan targets Ridley deep but can’t connect. Yet another 3 and out.
From their 34, Rodgers passes to Jamal Williams who picks up 9. Rodgers then connects with Jamal Williams deep down the sideline for another big passing gain. Look, the numbers don’t matter. They’re just big. After another big Aaron Jones run, Deion Jones sets them back by tackling Jones for a loss of 5 and on 3rd and 7. Of course, ARod completes the deep pass over the middle because life is pain. After a short gain by Aaron Jones on 1st and goal and 2nd down, on 3rd and goal Rodgers throws it to Darrius Shepherd but he is stopped short of the goal line. The Packers go for it on 4th and Jamal Williams is stopped. Falcons get the ball from the turnover on downs.
From their 1 yard line, the Atlanta offense starts with a quick throw to Julio Jones for 8 yards. Todd Gurley then rumbles for 4 and the first. After a pitch to Gurley goes for 8 yards, on 2nd and 2 he runs again to barely pick up the first. Gurley turns a major loss into a run for no gain (miraculously) and on 2nd and 9 Ryan connects with Hayden Hurst to set up 3rd and 4, as the first quarter mercifully ends.
Falcons 0, Packers 7
To start the 2nd quarter, on 3rd and 4 Ryan connects with Russell Gage to keep the sticks moving. Ryan then finds Hurst again for a nice 12 yard gain and another first down. After a terrible deep shot to Hurst, and a short pass to Olamide Zaccheaus, on 3rd and 4 Brian Hill gets the carry to set up 4th and 3. On the 4th down, Ryan is able to move around a muddy pocket and finds Julio Jones for the conversion. After a jet sweep to Gage goes for a 2 yard loss and Julio takes a quick pass for no gain, on 3rd and 11 Ryan connects with Gage for 9 yards. On 4th and 2, Matt Ryan scrambles for a 6 yard gain to set up 1st and goal. Gurley then loses 4. Of course. Gurley gets the carry again to set up 3rd and goal from the 6. On that critical down, Ryan can’t find Gage in the end zone. Elliot Fry comes on to punch in the field goal.
Falcons 3, Packers 7
The Packers start their drive with Aaron Rodgers connecting with Marquez Valdes-Scantling for 12 yards. A short 3 yard run by A.J. Dillon is followed by a throw to Tyler Ervin for the first. After Rodgers is pressured to throw it away and his 2nd down pass is knocked down, (after off-setting penalties) on 3rd and 10 Rodgers connects with Valdes-Scantling for the first. Jamal Williams runs for a short gain, Rodgers passes to him to get the first. Dante Fowler stops Williams for a 4 yard loss and after an incomplete pass on 2nd down, on 3rd and 14 Rodgers finds Tonyan for 19 yards and the deep touchdown. Crosby misses the extra point.
Falcons 3, Packers 13
A short run starts the Falcons drive and after the 2 minute warning on 2nd and 8, Ryan connects with Julio to set up 3rd and 4. On that down, Ryan is sacked. Of course. Life is pain.
After the run by Williams goes for 5, Rodgers passes to him for the first down. A short pass to Tonyan sets up 2nd and 7 where Rodgers scrambles for 3, but a holding penalty sets up 2nd and 17. After a dump off pass to Williams sets up 3rd and 15 Williams picks up 13 on the screen to setup 4th and 2. Rodgers stays in and the Packers easily convert the 4th on a short pass to Malik Taylor. Rodgers finds Tonyan yet again to open up the big lead.
Falcons 3, Packers 20
The Falcons offense comes back out because they’re required to and they start with a short pass to Zaccheus. A pass to Brian Hill sets up 2nd and short. Ryan is then dropped by Za’Darius Smith and this half of football mercifully comes to an end.
Falcons 3, Packers 20
The Packers offense starts the second half with a short run by Williams and another short run by Jones. On 3rd and 8, Rodgers hits Valdes-Scantling for the first down. After Steven Means gets a tackle for loss of 3 yards, on 2nd and 13 Deion Jones and Grady Jarrett stop Aaron Jones for no gain. On 3rd and 13, Rodgers goes deep down the sideline for Shepherd, but Isaiah Oliver makes a nice play to force the punt.
Ryan starts the drive with a nice pass for 18 to Hurst. Ryan’s next pass is thrown into traffic and batted up, but Zaccheus comes down with it for another first. Gurley gets a good hard run for 5 yards and on 2nd and 5, he carries it up the middle for the first. A run for no gain is followed by defensive offsides and an incomplete pass sets up 3rd and 5 and Gurley takes it for a big 15 yard gain to setup 1st and goal. He finishes the drive with the run up the middle for a touchdown. Fry misses the extra point.
Falcons 9, Packers 20
Starting near the 50 due to a penalty on the kickoff, the Packers start with a pass to Aaron Jones for 22 yards. He then runs it for 6 yards on 1st down, 1 on 2nd and on 3rd and 3 Rodgers finds Tonyan again for a TD because life is a never ending series of gut punches.
Falcons 9, Packers 27
The Atlanta offense starts with the short throw to Ito Smith for a nice 6 yard gain. Ito then runs it for 3. On 3rd and 6, after a false start by Jake Matthews, Ryan hits Zaccheus for the first down. Ryan connects with Smith again for another first down. After an incomplete deep shot to Hayden Hurst, and a short run by Ito, on 3rd and 10 Ryan scrambles for 4 yards and Atlanta opts to go for it. On 4th and 6, the Packers get hit with 2 penalties including roughing the passer. First down. Ryan then finds Keith Smith for 4 yards and then Zaccheus for another 10 and the first and the end of the third.
Falcons 9, Packers 27
A short pass to Brian Hill is followed by a nice run to pick up the 1st. After Hill runs for just 1 yard on 1st down, Ryan hands it off to Gurley and throws a lead block to spring him in for the touchdown.
Falcons 16, Packers 27
Aaron Jones starts with an 11 yard run. After a short pass to Jones on 1st, he quickly gets it out to Valdes-Scantling for the easy first down. A couple of quick throws sets up 3rd and short and Deion Jones takes Rodgers down short of the line for the sack, but a defensive holding gives the Packers the first. Aaron Jones runs for another 12 yard gain and Grady Jarrett shuts down the screen for a 3 yard loss. On 2nd and 13, Charles Harris gets the “Rodgers slipped and fell” sack. On 3rd and 25, the checkdown to Williams sets up 4th and 12. Mason Crosby punches in the 48 yard field goal.
Falcons 16, Packers 30
Ryan starts the drive with a short throw to Gurley for 5. He then connects with Zaccheus for two straight first downs. He then finds Christian Blake for 20. Gurley picks up 4 on the pitch and after Blake drops a catch, on 3rd and 6 Ryan is strip sacked by Za’Darius Smith, but Ryan recovers. On 4th and 10, Ryan hits Ridley in the end zone but Adrian Amos makes a good defensive play. Turnover on downs.
Aaron Jones runs for 4 and Aaron Rodgers runs on the next down to set up 3rd and 1. A pass to Tonyan converts the first. The Packers then run the ball repeatedly to begin the burndown of the clock but on 3rd and 9 after the two minute warning, Rodgers throws deep incomplete.
After the punt, Ryan starts the drive with a first down pass to Hurst. After another deep completion to Christian Blake and a short pass to Ito Smith, he hits Blake again for the first down. Another sack for Za’Darius Smith helps to wrap up a dismal game for Atlanta.
Final: Falcons 16, Packers 30