Much like previous games, the Green Bay Packers jumped out to an early lead and were in control by halftime. Or so it would seem. It’s a good thing the Packers jumped out early because they needed it.
The Packers on Monday night, took a 31-7 lead into halftime against the Atlanta and they looked like they were ready to coast to victory. But the Falcons had something else in mind. It’s a good thing the Packers once again built a big early lead because they had to hang on for a 43-37 victory.
The Packers have outscored their opponents 198-51 in the first half of their seven home games. Last night, they needed the early lead.
The Falcons put up 30 points and 304 yards of offense in the second half. Julio Jones had 100 yards receiving in the first half, then added another 159 in the second half before leaving the game late with a hip injury. The Packers ended up scoring 12-points in the second half, just enough to hold off Atlanta.
With Atlanta defending the Packers potent offense using a Cover-2 look, Aaron Rodgers took what the Falcons gave them. Short dump passes to the running backs and tight end Andrew Quarless, as well as a ground attack that saw the Packers rush for 179 yards on the game, was the answer.
The Packers defense looked like they had been making progress and gained confidence with a solid performance in last weeks win over New England. But the defense that showed up last night, looked more like the one that got shredded by New Orleans in a loss more than a month ago.
The start of the second half looked like a Packers defense that relaxed with a big lead at halftime.
While many players were concerned about the defensive letdown, nobody was apologizing for the win. The Packers improved to 10-3 and remain the 2-seed in the NFC playoff picture with 3-games left to play. They also stay a game in front of the Detroit Lions atop the NFC North.
Matt Ryan finished with 375 yards passing, four touchdowns and one interception. The Packers sacked him once and intercepted him once. For the most part though, Ryan had time to throw, got hot and almost pulled the Falcons from behind.
But in the end, it’s the Packers that survived and in the final month of the season, style points don’t matter much. Getting the win and moving on to the next game is what it’s all about.
The Packers improved to 7-0 at home and Lambeau Field has become a major advantage for the Packers this season. That’s why they need to move full speed trying to gain home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
– Green Bay Packers safety Morgan Burnett’s first half interception ended a streak of 31-games without a pick.
– Packers linebacker Clay Mathews (55.5) had one sack to moved past Tim Harris (55) into third on the Packers’ all-time sack list.
– Aaron Rodgers improved to 68-32 in his 100th game at quarterback with the Packers.
– Aaron Rodgers surpassed Dallas’ Tony Romo for the most passing yards in 100 NFL starts at QB
– the Packers have scored 23 or more points in the first half of its last six home games
– the Packers have scored on their opening drives in 7 of the last 8 games, 5 of those scores have been touchdowns.