Packers XLV

Angry Birds Will Likely Fly Past Pack

Posted October 28th, 2016 @ 03:10pm

Let's take a look at the next five weeks. After an extended homestead, the Pack heads to Atlanta to begin a stretch of four road games over the next five weeks. What record do you hope the Packers can achieve over the next five? I'll take 3-2 right now. As banged up as they are, 3-2 would keep things afloat and in position for a final five game stretch.

It fees like this will be one of those two losses. The Packers catch the Falcons in an ornery mood, losers of two straight to take the shine off a 4-1 start and what looked like a march to the South division title, the way Carolina, Tampa and New Orleans were playing. After a three touchdowns in five minutes eruption in the second quarter against the Chargers, the Birds led 27-10 and seemed in control. But they scored just three points in the second half and allowed Philip Rivers to dink and dunk up and down the field. A late Matt Ryan pick helped send the game to overtime and a misguided fourth and one decision sealed their fate.

So, fresh off that stinging home loss, the high flying Birds welcome the Pack, who will try to slow their air attack with LaDarius Gunter and Demetri Goodson at cornerback. Needless to say, the Pack's pass rush needs to be at its best, to force Ryan out of his rhythm, and try to keep him off balance. They may or may not have Clay Matthews, who's once again questionable with a hammy--you know he desperately wants to match up against his cousin Jake, but even if he plays it's unlikely he'll be close to 100%.

Julio Jones presents the ultimate challenge for the Pack's hobbled secondary. He torched them in their last meeting and he's been as good as any receiver in the league this season. Expect the Falcons to look for him downfield all day, knowing that chances are very good he'll either catch it or draw the flag.

The Packers catch a break defensively with the absence of running back Tevin Coleman, the more explosive piece of the Flacons' strong two-headed running game. Devante Freeman will have to carry the load and he's a challenge as it is. He can turn busted plays into big gains, but he's undersized and unaccustomed to carrying the load.

The ten day break between games has given Mike McCarthy extended time to deal with his new reality on offense. Sounds like we'll see more of Knile Davis in the running game, but Ty Montgomery will likely still be counted on as well. With Randall Cobb dealing with a hamstring, we'll see if Jordy Nelson becomes more of a target this week. And can Davante Adams provide a follow up to his coming out party against the Bears? Who knows, maybe Geronimo Allison will get some chances.

There should be plenty of opportunities for Aaron Rodgers and the passing game. They've studied what worked for San Diego and it plays into the Pack's strengths: lots of short passes all over the field. The Falcons are near the bottom of most defensive statistics: their pass rush consists mainly of Vic Beasley at linebacker. While this unit is trying to emulate the Seahawks, they lack the personnel virtually everywhere. Their defensive line is below average and their secondary is a work in progress. Corner Desmond Trufant is the best playmaker and will likely shadow Adams.

It should be entertaining, with both quarterbacks moving up and down the field and lots of points scored. But the Falcons come in with a chip on their shoulder following two straight losses and the Packers just seem too banged up to hang with them for 60 minutes. I've seen  a surprising number of national analysts pick the Pack this week, despite being two and half point underdogs. It would take a key turnover or play on special teams to pull it off.

Falcons 30  Packers 24

Much more on this game Sunday morning at 7. "Packer Preview" airs on KFAN, kfan.com and iHeart Radio. Hope to see some of you at the Park Tavern in St. Louis Park to watch the game. Head past the bowling alley to the 11th Frame bar in back. That's our territory. Drink specials, great food and prizes to give away as usual.

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Comments (16):

Speed Talk: Interviews - Racing Books - Racing Forum

on November 30th, 2016 at 07:23pm

Blah, Blah, Blah, more mindless banter from pro sports most desperate fan base

on October 28th, 2016 at 03:50pm

Bear down, Chicago Bears!!!

on October 28th, 2016 at 04:25pm

I came in here to tell you that you are moronic for saying Freeman is unaccustomed to carrying the load, but Kasu already pointed out your ignorance for me. So I guess all that is left is for me to thank you for continuing to run my favorite blog, I hope one day some Packer fans find it too.

on October 28th, 2016 at 05:43pm

Week 8 and THC FINALLY picks against his team for the first time all season. Are you finally starting to learn? Only way it is as close as you predict is is Julio's yards are on par with the yards the Packer offense gets off bogus DPI calls. The Lions have passed you guys up for 2nd best team in the division. You need to accept that and move on.

on October 28th, 2016 at 10:32am

Good to see you coming around and accepting the fact GB is no longer an elite team. But I'll give them a shot if they can keep moving the chains via PI. What I'm looking forward to most is the return of "what's wrong with Rodgers?" GB won't score as many points as you think. 35-20 ATl.

on October 28th, 2016 at 10:32am

Do you do any research on the other teams? Devonta Freeman may be slightly undersized but he averaged 23 touches a game last season. Even with Tevin Coleman eating into his playing time, he's still averaging 18-20 touches a game. To say he's unaccustomed to carrying the load is pretty ignorant since he was doing exactly that last year.

on October 28th, 2016 at 10:37am

" They've studied what worked for San Diego and it plays into the Pack's strengths: lots of short passes all over the field. " This is not possible for A-a-ron...his ego is too big to complete short passes. He'll hold onto the ball too long and F it all up again.

on October 28th, 2016 at 10:41am

A few days ago the Packers were favored by 3 ....... what changed ?

on October 28th, 2016 at 11:13am

Son, you're my son and I know I'm supposed to love you but you've been nothing but a pimple on my hemorrhoid. There's no way, *no* way that you came from *my* loins. Soon as I get home, first thing I'm going to do is punch your mamma in the mouth! Then after that, I'm heading over the the court house and filing a petition to have Jackson removed from your home. It will be easy since you still live in my basement.

on October 28th, 2016 at 11:55am

Freeman 'unaccustomed" to carrying the load...he was 4th in the NFL in carries last year and 2nd in overall touches. What exactly do you consider carrying the load?

on October 28th, 2016 at 11:57am

by all means mix the offense up with Ty Montgomery and Cobb out of the backfield. Also Jeff Janis should be getting more touches. I thought last year he was serviceable. On Defense maybe Ha Ha needs to be over the top on Jones all day. this should be a really interesting game. Don't hang your head Davy, On any given day. And Remember the team to your West is a Mash unit also. So on any given Day?? But as one comment says the Lions have become relevant? no that could not be. looking forward to seeing that Atlanta stadium on TV.

on October 29th, 2016 at 04:50pm

The Falcons' offense leads the league at 32.7 ppg but their defense is allowing 28.4ppg. I remember a Packers' visit there in 2005 when GB was 1-7 and the Falcons 6-2 and the Pack given no chance. Then a street free agent back named Samkon Gado rushed for over 100 and the Pack won 33-25 and wrecked Atlanta's season from then on. PS: that's a hint for Knile Davis and Don Jackson.

on October 29th, 2016 at 05:22am

good to see all our friends are back again. the power of the pen.somehow I knew THC would pick the birds this week after all the crap he takes on here. freeman did carry the load last year ,, but ran out of gas the end of year, look at the numbers boys. should be close game , can go either way . it will come down to turnovers again, like normal, when you lose 3 of your top corners, it doesn't look good, Gunter will be the key, if he controls jones to around 100 yds and 1 td, we have good chance, he is very physical like jones is, but jones is a beast, and could have 160 and 2. expect a lot of short throws again to montgomery, and Knile Davis should get 15 carries. if we win the turnover battle, we win 34-30, if we don't we lose. GO Packers

on October 29th, 2016 at 12:18pm

Packers should turn Rodgers into a running back (60 yards - not bad !) and put somebody else (Favre maybe) in as the new QB .....

on October 30th, 2016 at 06:50pm

Keep it going Dave! I get such a kick out of the nay-sayers who have come out of the walls now with the Pack in a state of mélange with injuries, a challenging schedule, and a couple of NFC North teams doing well. I am a dedicated reader of this blog (seldom do I add comments) and meaningless comments from these clowns sure add a lot of humor, but unfortunately also occupy space in an interesting column. Go Pack.

on October 30th, 2016 at 07:35am

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