TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons At Green Bay Packers

Atlanta Falcons
Green Bay Packers
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner The Falcons ended their five-game losing streak when they came away with an overtime victory at Buffalo. The victory took a great weight off of Matt Ryan’s shoulders and he should be a much more relaxed quarterback in this game. Ryan is an accurate passer and if the Packers can’t put significant pressure on him, he should be able to pick apart the Green Bay defense.
There’s a chance that Aaron Rodgers could come back from his left shoulder injury and start against the Falcons. If he can, it’s likely the Packers will have their way with the Falcons and may go on a season-ending four-game winning streak. Rodgers is perhaps the most accurate passer in the game. However, if he can’t play, the Green Bay offense struggles badly with Scott Tolzien or Matt Flynn under center.
Offense
Winner The Falcons should have a good chance to do some damage on the ground with Steven Jackson at running back. While he was injured earlier in the year, he’s healthy again and productive. Harry Douglas has stepped up nicely following the injury to Julio Jones. Roddy White is coming off a 10-catch, 143-yard game against the Bills, but he still has ankle soreness.
The Packers have decent weapons on offense but they have been hamstrung by Rodgers’ injury. Eddie Lacy is an excellent power back who can break away if he gets to the second level. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson is going to find a way to get open and make big plays for the Packers. Jarrett Boykin is a decent weapon who can make big plays.
Defense
The Falcons struggle on defense because they tend to get beaten at the point of attack. While the Falcons have speed on defense, they lack bulk and can get pushed around. While the Falcons rank 25th in yards allowed, they have discovered a solid linebacker in Paul Worrilow, who has emerged as the team’s leading tackler with 89 stops. DE Osi Umenyiora has a team-high 6.5 sacks.
Winner The Packers rank 23rd in yards allowed and they have started to struggle quite a bit since losing Rodgers. The Packers have a hard time sustaining drives and that means the defense is getting overworked. Linebacker A.J. Hawk is having an excellent year and he leads the team with 103 tackles and he also has 5.0 sacks. Clay Matthews has a team-high 6.0 sacks.
Special Teams
Winner The Falcons have plenty of speed on their special teams, but they have yet to break a long return for a touchdown this year. Matt Bryant is one of the league’s best placekickers, and he is having a solid year as he has made 19-of-21 FG attempts.
Winner The Packers have done a decent job in punt coverage, but they have had some issues on kickoff coverage. Micah Hyde is a solid return specialist and he has taken one punt back the distance. Mason Crosby has made 26-of-30 FG attempts this season.

The Winner Is

(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Winner Atlanta Falcons
3 out of 4

This game comes down to Rodgers. If he is healthy enough to get the start, the Packers should win easily. If he can’t, the Falcons could make it two wins in a row.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Peyton Manning (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
    Super Bowl 50 Tale: Panthers Have Edge Over Broncos

    It will be a shock if Cam Newton is not handed the NFL’s MVP award the night before the Super Bowl. He is a game-changing superstar who is still ascending.

  2. ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 02: Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals throws against the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on November 2, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    NFC Championship Tale: Arizona Cardinals At Carolina Panthers

    The Cardinals have depended on Carson Palmer to lead them all season, and he was good enough to lead them to a 13-3 record during the season.

  3. Tom Brady (Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images) Peyton Manning (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
    AFC Championship Tale: New England Patriots At Denver Broncos

    The New England offense had new life in the win over Kansas City with the return of wideout Julian Edelman.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Atlanta

Taz Goes Big With A New Daily Show!
92-9 The Game Play By Play

Watch & Listen