This week the Green Bay Packers travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. Our five downs takes us over to the staff of Blogging Dirty.
Scott Carasik joins us this week to talk anything and everything Falcon’s football.
Green Bay is absolutely depleted at the corner position. A group that could be the most vital with the best receiver in the game, Julio Jones up this week. Unfortunately, it’s not the only position that is becoming grossly malnourished on the depth chart.
Is the staff at Blogging Dirty predicting a Falcons blowout? Read ahead to find out.
Lombardi Ave: The Falcons have now dropped two straight after winning four games in-a-row. Is there any reason for concern in Atlanta?
Blogging Dirty: Not at all. The two games the Falcons dropped had more self-inflicted injuries and teams just outplaying Atlanta than anything to cause for concern. Atlanta lost to a team that probably should be 5-2 in the Chargers because they couldn’t get anything going offensively in the second half. If they score a touchdown at all in the second half, they win the game.
When it comes to the Seahawks, if the Falcons score a touchdown at all in the first half, it’s a completely different game, and they stand a better shot at winning. The Falcons are a good team and should see a playoff berth this season and a possible division title considering how bad the Buccaneers, Panthers and Saints have been.
Lombardi Ave: Julio Jones is just simply a monster. The Packers are down their top two corners, Sam Shields and Damarious Randall. Quinten Rollins the third corner, may also be in street clothes. What kind of a game are we in for from Julio?
Blogging Dirty: It all depends on how the Packers scheme against Jones. If they are dumb and do what the Panthers did by leaving him in one-on-one or going against quarters zones all day, Julio is going to eat you alive. If you are going to man him up and bracket him all day, he should go off for only about 100 yards and a touchdown. Julio is going to get his, though.
It also depends on how well the Falcons offensive line handles the Packers pass rush. If they can keep Ryan relatively clean, expect a big day for the Falcons through the air including a ton of yards to Julio, but also a ton of yards to guys like Austin Hooper and Aldrick Robinson who can challenge your interior slot guys and linebackers.
Lombardi Ave: Atlanta is the best scoring team in the NFL. With that said, they are also among the worst in points allowed. What can a team with virtually no running backs, in the Packers, do to exploit the Falcon’s defense?
More from Lombardi Ave
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- Packers salary cap update following second week of free agency
- Packers’ cornerback depth chart after second week of free agency
- Packers’ edge rusher depth chart after second week of free agency
- Packers’ tackle depth chart after second week of free agency
Blogging Dirty: Normally, I would say run the ball effectively and utilize your tight ends on play action. Not only do the Falcons have a solid run defense, they have two of the best corners in the NFL. Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant can matchup with anyone. They have held No. 1 and No. 2 receivers to very few yards this season and can matchup well against Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson.
The question that the Falcons face against the Packers are the tight ends Jared Cook and Richard Rodgers and slot receiver Randall Cobb. If the Packers are smart with their game-plan, they’ll focus on having those guys attack the seams and with crossers all day.
The Falcons should be able to shut down the run with the run defense finally coming together and the Packers not having any healthy running backs outside of Knile Davis. It will be tough for the Falcons to stop the Packers regardless, but becoming one-dimensional will only help Atlanta’s pass rush pin their ears back to get after Rodgers.
Lombardi Ave: Back in 2010 the Falcons rolled into the Playoffs at 13-3. A 10-6 Packers team was across the way in the visiting locker room. Matt Ryan failed to reach the 200 yard mark in a 48-21 thumping by the Packers. Given, it has been six years, is this week any type of retribution for that game? How is each team different since then?
Blogging Dirty: The Falcons have a completely different team from that 2010 team. And the Falcons have played the Packers multiple times since then. The reason why the Falcons even have Julio Jones is because of how soundly they were dominated in that 2010 game. Atlanta has focused on having a more explosive offense because of it.
The only players even on the roster from that 2010 team are Matt Ryan, Jonathan Babineaux, Matt Bryant and Eric Weems. That’s a lot of turnover and there’s no retribution for that game. The Packers are a different team as well. Atlanta seems to match up well with Green Bay and should do a good job attacking the Packers holes on defense.
Lombardi Ave: Finally, give us your prediction for the final outcome of Sunday’s game. Take it easy on us poor depleted Packers with an up-and-down quarterback.
Blogging Dirty: As much as I want to pick a team, I’ve refrained from making picks for the rest of the season. I’ll just say that I think the Falcons and Packers match up well, and I think Atlanta can give the Packers a lot of trouble. Ideally, the Falcons win this game, but I’m not predicting anything.