For the first four games of the NFL season, the Green Bay Packers were winning games in spite of their defense. After falling behind 14-0 last night to the Atlanta Falcons, it appeared as if that trend might continue.
That’s when the defense said enough is enough. After giving up 145 yards to the Falcons on their first two scoring drives, the Packers held the Falcons to 102 yards and no points the rest of the way.
In the second half, the Falcons punted the first four times they had the ball, then threw a pair of interceptions.
One factor that helped the Packers was Atlanta’s decision to abandon its ground game. After the Falcons gained 50 yards on 7 rushes on the opening series, Atlanta forgot about the ground attack after that.
Matt Ryan got off to a good start, going 8 for 10 for 80 yards on the first two scoring drives. He finished with just 167 yards on 18 of 32 for a quarterback rating of 55.1.
It wasn’t perfect, in fact, far from it, but linebacker Clay Matthews was encouraged by the improved defense.
It’s an encouraging sign for a defense that entered Sunday night’s game ranked 31st out of 32 teams in pass defense.
The Packers return home to host the St. Louis Rams this Sunday at Lambeau Field.