The Atlanta Falcons are one of the surprise teams in the league at 2-2, and have a shot to improve over .500 on Sunday if the Pack has to turn to backup QB Matt Flynn when the two teams meet at Lambeau Field. The Falcons fell for their second straight road loss last week to the Panthers, but continue to show signs of being a team that is clearly no push over.
As far as the Pack goes, there is general concern over a spot they never had to worry about with Brett Favre there – that being QB. Aaron Rodgers has not thrown yet this week, and it appears that the team is getting rookie backup Matt Flynn ready, as Rodgers sprained shoulder looks as if it may sit him down for this game. The Packers also want to get back to winning ways, as a cheery 2-0 start now has faded as they are 2-2, tied with Chicago for the lead in the NFC North.
The Falcons with first year head coach Mike Smith are doing a lot of things right. They have a power running game in motion, with Michael Turner and company averaging 181.8 yards per game. They want to slow the game down and send a message up front with their running game. That means they have to get off to a fast start. Matt Ryan is a very good QB with a lead, but like last week when the Falcons get behind, Ryan seems to play much like the rookie QB that he is.
For Green Bay, they are 23rd in the league rushing, and Ryan Grant has not been the same back he was a season ago. With a rookie QB in his first game in Flynn likely getting the start, getting that running game going might be the biggest key of the game. Atlanta is allowing 131.3 yards on the ground, and the Packers will look to get to that point plus more on Sunday.
Look for Atlanta to try to do what they have done in their two home wins, but this time on the road – get a lead and use the running game to their advantage. The Packers are hoping to get a push from the home crowd, but have little else to fall back on with their 26th ranked defense and a QB that is going to simply try to call the plays right in the huddle.
Just a hunch, but the Falcons seem to be learning from their losses each time, and they will use that experience to pull off the upset and drop the Pack to 2-3.