The Packers take to the National Stage this Sunday night, as they head to Atlanta to take on a Falcons team they pounded in the playoffs last year. Now at 4-0, the Pack appear to be the hottest team in the league. Below are some keys to the game, as well as our prediction.
1. Keep Spreading the Ball – Aaron Rodgers has been great at sharing in 2011 to this point, as last week he completed a touchdown pass to four different wide receivers: Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson. He’s done that all year, and right now with 1325 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, and 2 picks, he leads the NFL with a 124.6 passer rating and 73.0 completion percentage, an impressive feat given how much he has spread the ball out, a key to the 4-0 start.
2. Tackle Turner – Don’t underestimate Falcons bruiser Michael Turner. He can make it a long night for the Pack, as last week the Falcons did get their running game going versus Seattle, getting 70 yards from Turner (304 rushing yards, 3 TD) as part of the team’s 121 total rushing yards. Turner is a guy that if he gets going, more so in the second half, he can be tough to stop. Gang tackling and going for the legs is going to be key for the Packers in this battle.
3. Fast Start – With the playoff beating last year, and the national stage of a home Sunday night game, the Falcons are going to come out swinging. The Packers need to be aware of that, and need to come out with a fast start like against the Bears and in last years NFC title game. In the NFL, as a road team if you can survive the storm, you should be in good shape, and the Packers need to do that Sunday night.
Prediction – Packers are hitting on all cylinders, Aaron Rodgers had a six TD day last Sunday, and this team isn’t going to go down easily. Last year the Falcons were pounded by the Pack in the playoffs, and while Atlanta finally got on track last week against a bad Hawks team, Green Bay is simply too good. On a national stage, the Pack is ready to get to 5-0, and will do enough to get it done here. Green Bay 35 Atlanta 24