Packers vs. Falcons is probably the premier matchup of Week 2 in the National Football League, a game that is sure to live up to the hype that has been building around it.
Not only do the Green Bay Packers help another franchise open their new stadium for the second time in two years, but this matches the two teams that battled it out in the NFC Championship game last January.
Packers vs. Falcons: Two franchise’s with the most prolific offenses in all of the league.
Packers vs. Falcons: Franchise’s with two of the best quarterbacks in all of the league.
Packers vs. Falcons: Two teams that are once again being mentioned as the franchise’s with the best chances to reach the Super Bowl from the NFC.
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All of those things and many more story lines are dominating the news cycle as we inch closer to the Sunday night clash between the NFC titans.
So, what are experts from around the league saying about this game, this time around?
Have the Packers, specifically, solidified the defensive backfield enough to stay with the prolific receiving corps of the Falcons?
Will the Packers front seven, led by defensive lineman Mike Daniels, be able to provide enough push up front to disrupt the timing of the Falcons’ offense?
Has the Packers offense, especially the run game, taken enough of a step forward to crack the Falcons’ defense, to get into the second layer and pick up large chunks of yardage to loosen up the pass game?
We won’t know any of this tonight until about 10:30 p.m. CDT, but for now we and so many around the internet have speculated and provided their predictions on just how it all turns out.
The following are some of the predictions we picked – a selection that includes an equal mix of experts who feel that both teams have legitimate shots of winning the game.
Let’s take a quick look …
"Zach Kruse: Falcons 30, Packers 27Jack Wepfer: Packers 30, Falcons 27Marty Kauffman: Packers 35, Atlanta 27Anthony Nash: Falcons 28, Packers 24Nolan Stracke: Falcons 31, Packers 24"
Green Bay gets their revenge
"Heading into this week’s game, it is hard to predict who will come out on top. That being the case, the Packers looked much sharper in Week 1. Green Bay will find a way to start the season 2-0 and will get revenge for their NFC Championship Game loss to Atlanta last season."
"What a terrific prime-time matchup. In a nearly even game, the edge goes to the home team, particularly when one considers that it will be the first game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.Falcons, 30-27."
"Sunday night’s game might be the most entertaining in Week 2. Expect to see a lot of points, and the team with the ball last might ultimately end up winning. The over/under is 53.5.It’s a hard one to call, but grabbing the three points might be the best bet when the teams are this evenly matched. The Falcons needed a late field goal to beat the Packers at home when Green Bay and Atlanta met in the 2016 regular season, and Sunday’s game could have a similar finish.Green Bay over Atlanta, 35-31"
"Vinnie Iyer: Rodgers marched through Atlanta during his Super Bowl XLV run, just a round earlier. Ryan is trying to shake off his minor shortcomings of playoffs past to get a real crack at his first ring. Don’t expect much defense to be played here. It will come down to which team can dig deep with its pass rush and ball-hawking secondary to make the one game-changing stop.The good bet is Green Bay, which was the better sacking and intercepting team in the regular season. The Packers also have been a destructive offense in the red zone, exactly where the Falcons’ defense has had the most troubles.The Falcons will be able to be both power run and deep pass on Green Bay, but with Ty Montgomery buzzing to flank Rogers against a weak rushing defense, the Packers will have no trouble both matching and eventually trumping that balance and explosiveness. It’s another comfortable dome away from home game for Rodgers, and it’s another trip to the big one to pad his future Hall of Fame resume.Packers, 38-37. David Steele: The world will be gravely disappointed if the final score doesn’t resemble a college basketball game. There’s no real reason to believe these two defenses can really shut down Rodgers or Ryan, respectively.Ryan has better weapons, by far, especially if they get Julio Jones at full strength … and similar to last week against the Seahawks, the Falcons nipped the Packers in Atlanta in October without a 100-percent Jones.But Rodgers clearly doesn’t need Hall of Famers to which to throw. Plus, Rodgers has the postseason receipts; for all his brilliance in this MVP-caliber season, Ryan doesn’t have his yet. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. But when the confetti falls, it won’t help him or the Falcons feel better.Packers, 33-31"
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"As usual, the Falcons and Packers are going to give everyone one heck of a football game to watch. With two NFL MVP quarterbacks at the helm, two great coaches and two passionate fanbases, this could be the game of the season.That being said, I think the Falcons’ will bounce back defensively from a rough first weekend in Chicago and get to Aaron Rodgers multiple times on Sunday Night Football. Atlanta wins this game in exciting fashion.Atlanta Falcons 35 Green Bay Packers 31"