NFL Game of the Week: Green Bay vs. Atlanta
Entering week two of the NFL season, the game of week takes place on Sunday Night Football when the Green Bay Packers visit the Atlanta Falcons.
Two of the best teams in the NFC will face off as the Falcons begin a new era with the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The opening of the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a major story to watch. This state of the art facility replaces the Georgia Dome as the Falcons’ new home. Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the first venue to offer fan-first pricing where their goal is to create a combination of price, quality and value.
Former MVP’s Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan face off in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship where the Falcons’ offense torched the Green Bay defense in a 44-21 win en-route to the Super Bowl.
Last year, Ryan threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns while star receiver Julio Jones had 180 yards and two touchdowns. Rodgers ended with 287 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort.
Entering week two, both teams come into this game with a record of 1-0. The Packers beat a very good Seattle Seahawks team at Lambeau Field, 17-9. Rodgers finished with 311 yards and one touchdown, while running back Ty Montgomery added 54 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
Green Bay looks to continue the stellar defense they played last week against Seattle. The Packers’ defense was able to hold quarterback Russell Wilson to 158 passing yards and sacked Wilson three times. Seattle was only able to manage three field goals.
The Packers’ offense was very successful in moving the ball against the vaunted Seahawks defense. Green Bay held edges in yardage (370-225) and first downs (26-12). Rodgers and the Packers offense also held a huge edge in time of possession (39:13 minutes to 20:47 minutes).
Atlanta came away with a 23-17 win over the Chicago Bears in a game much closer than experts predicted. Ryan ended with 321 passing yards, including an 88-yard bomb to tight end Austin Hooper. Running back Devonta Freeman added 37 yards and one score.
All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones finished with four catches for 66 yards and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu caught six passes for 47 passes. Kicker Matt Bryant added three field goals.
Atlanta was able to outgain Chicago (372-301) and hold a slight time of possession advantage (30:34-29:26). The Falcons were able to sack quarterback Mike Glennon four times, led by linebacker Brooks Reed who had two sacks.
Atlanta led the league in points per game last year with 33.8, while Green Bay averaged 27 points. This game is expected to be a high-scoring affair after combining for 65 points in the playoffs last year.
Both Atlanta and Green Bay look to improve their defense from last year, as both teams let up some of most points in the league. Atlanta let up 25.4 points per game and Green Bay gave up 24.2 points per game last year. Both teams used to their top picks in the draft on defensive players as Takkarist McKinley (Atlanta) and Kevin King (Green Bay) were taken to bolster their respecative defenses.
Even though both offenses struggled to put up points in week one, expect this game to be very entertaining and high scoring.
This game has the look of a possible NFC Championship rematch as both Atlanta and Green Bay are among the league’s best. This game could go a long way to determining who has home field advantage come January.
Atlanta’s weapons and home crowd will be too much for Rodgers and the Packers to handle. Expect this game to come down to the final possessions, but the Falcons jump out to a 2-0 start in this young season.
Prediction: Atlanta 38, Green Bay 34
Camden Tofil is a freshman majoring in advertising/public relations. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.