Friday, October 7, 2011

Week 5: Green Bay at Atlanta

We find ourselves talking, once again, about offensive lines. Matt Ryan’s line is terrible - he’s already been sacked 13 times and hit 28 times through four weeks!!! Poor Matty Ice! Will the Packers finally be able to get some pressure on the quarterback this week??

More of this, please.
Absolutely key to this game for Atlanta is the run game. Human bowling ball Michael Turner is a beast and crazy good at picking up yards after contact.  When Atlanta beat Green Bay in the regular season last year, Turner ran for 110 yards; when Atlanta lost in the playoffs, Turner managed only 39 yards. The Packers’ run defense is good, but so is Michael Turner. I think this whole game revolves around the Turner vs. the Packers’ run defense match-up, and whoever wins the match-up wins the game.

One way to avoid coming out on the wrong side of that match-up is for the Packers to keep doing what they’ve been doing and jump out to an early lead, forcing the Falcons away from the run.  (I thought Matt Ryan made an interesting, though overly-generous, remark this week when he pointed out that the Packers’ woeful secondary statistics could be partly attributed to the fact that opponents have to pass much more against the Packers when the Packers gain early leads.) I just hope Tramon Williams still has Matt Ryan’s number.

Do this again.

While I think the idea of this week’s game being a grudge match for Atlanta is overplayed, there is way more at stake for Atlanta than for Green Bay. After cruising through the regular season to a 13-3 record last year, Atlanta’s sitting at a disappointing .500 after four weeks and needs to win this game to prove they can play with the big boys. That’s what makes me nervous about this game. That, and the fact that Matt Ryan has only ever lost THRICE in the Georgia Dome. EVER. The last time was to Green Bay in the playoffs...I don’t know if the Falcons allow that to happen a second time.   

Watch out for that Jordy Nelson - he’s done pretty darn well against Atlanta. 
Mmmmm, Jordy.
 Also look for Aaron Rodgers and his favorite shoes - they seem to like the Georgia Dome almost as much as Matt Ryan. 
Aaron and the Magic Shoes.
 Though, I think right now Aaron Rodgers could play in quicksand and still post a 100+ QB rating. 

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