The Green Bay Packers were already playing without a significant disadvantage when both of their offensive tackles, David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga were held out of Sunday nights game in Atlanta. Then take away Mike Daniels (hamstring) and Jordy Nelson (quad) in the early part of the game and the task became next to impossible.
The Packers started the second half trailing 24-7 but had the ball. That’s when quarterback Aaron Rodgers was hit from behind with his pass ruled behind the line of scrimmage. Atlanta’s Desmond Trufant scooped up the loose ball and rumbled 15 yards for a touchdown that would put the Falcons up 31-7, on their way to a 34-23 victory over the Packers in the first game at new Mercedes Benz Stadium.
The Packers went with second year offensive lineman Kyle Murphy at left tackle and Justin McCray at right tackle.
Aaron Rodgers was sacked three times but hit several more. He finished 33 of 50 for 343 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Atlanta struck first, marching 86 yards on nine plays to score a touchdown on their opening drive. But the Packers would answer with an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive of their own. But the Packers offense couldn’t get anything going for the rest of the half and the Falcons took advantage.
The Packers finally got something going in the second half but by then it was too late. The longest scoring strike by the Packers came when Rodgers found Davante Adams for a 33-yard scoring strike down the left sideline. Ty Montgomery also caught a 1-yard touchdown pass, which was the 300th touchdown pass of Aaron Rodgers career.
The Falcons did catch a big break late in the first half when a Rodgers to Randall Cobb completion was taken away by an offensive pass interference penalty against tight end Martellus Bennett. Even the TV announcers said it was a bad call. But Rodgers was then intercepted by Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant at the Packers 36 yard line and Atlanta would go on to score a touchdown.
Late in the half, Mike McCarthy showed his frustration with the officials on that play by arguing and drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Matt Ryan was 19 of 28 for 252 yards and one touchdown. Running back Devonta Freeman had 84 of the Falcons 141 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns.
The Packers also lost Kentrel Brice (groin), Randall Cobb (shoulder) and Davon House (quad) to injuries. Guard Jahri Evans also left with a groin injury but returned.
The Packers (1-1) will host the Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) this Sunday at Lambeau Field.