By Matthew Asher
Atlanta was finally able to snap their five-game losing streak on Sunday, besting the Buffalo Bills 34-31 in an overtime win north of the border at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Their next opponent, the Green Bay Packers, are currently on a five-game winless streak of their own (they tied the Vikings during the span).
The news gets better for Atlanta. Even though they have to travel to play in Wisconsin for this game, there’s a good chance that franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers will still be out for this game because of his broken collarbone he suffered in Week 9 against the Bears.
The last time Green Bay went five weeks or more without a win was back in 2008, the first season Rodgers was the starting quarterback for the Packers. For the time being Matt Flynn is the starting quarterback. Therefore, a lot of offensive statistics Green Bay put up before Rogers’ injury will not be telling the story of the team.
Packers on Offense
The Packers average 24.5 points per game, the 11th most in the league. They average nearly 400 yards of offense a game, the sixth most in the league. Green Bay has a very balanced offensive attack as they rank seventh in the league with 269.2 passing yards per game and eighth on the ground picking up 130.2 yards each game.
The majority of the passing yards came from Aaron Rodgers, who hasn’t played since his team’s eighth game of the season. Through the first seven games as the starting quarterback, Rodgers completed about 67 percent of his pass attempts for more than 2200 yards, 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions for a quarterback rating of 108.0. Flynn has completed about 55 percent of his throws for 357 yards, one touchdown and one interception for a quarterback rating of 73.3.
Jordy Nelson leads the Packers with 63 receptions, 691 yards and seven receiving touchdowns. James Jones is behind Nelson with 37 catches, 624 yards and two touchdowns. On the ground, Eddie Lacy has been the workhorse of the team. He’s rushed the ball 207 times for 822 yards and six touchdowns. James Starks is the other running back of note for Green Bay. He’s carried the ball 58 times for 327 yards and three touchdowns.
Packers on Defense
The reason Green Bay is currently 5-6-1 this season even though they have a top 10 offense is because they have an equally bad defense, ranking in the bottom 10 in the same categories. Green Bay gives up 25.4 points a game, the 10th worst in the league. The Packers give up 376.4 yards of offense each game with 250.5 through the air and 125.9 on the ground, all ranking in the bottom 11 of the league.
Green Bay also has a tough time forcing turnovers. They currently are negative-four in the turnover department. With all that taken into consideration, the odds are good that Atlanta will be able to win their fourth game of the season, and their second in a row as they take on a very depleted Packers team. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST. #RiseUp
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.