Packers XLV

Can Someone Please Call Donald Driver and Antonio Freeman?

Posted January 20th, 2017 @ 02:01pm

Those who watch the Packers like to rib us fans, constantly telling us that our team consists of Aaron Rodgers and 50 anonymous, interchangeable parts. On Sunday, we may find out whether that is actually true.

With the wide receiver corps thinner than Matt Ryan's postseason resume, the Packers may have to turn to rookie Trevor Davis and Jeff Janis to try to keep up on the scoreboard with the Falcons in Sunday's NFC title game.

Mike McCarthy admitted on Thursday that if this were a regular season game, Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison would be ruled out. But we all know the Pack is 60 minutes away from the Super Bowl and the team and players will do everything they possibly can to play. My guess is that Adams and Allison will be active, though I doubt Allison plays. At best, Adams will likely be limited and serve as a decoy, rather than a threat.

Obviously, in a perfect world the team lines up Nelson and Adams in a game where you might need 35 points to win. But the way Aaron Rodgers is dialed in, he'll likely be productive no matter who joins him in the huddle. Randall Cobb and Jared Cook will probably get the most attention, but Ty Montgomery will probably be called on to split out wide a bunch, and Richard Rodgers reminded us last week that he can be counted on for a big play when called upon.

And let's not forget, in the first meeting the Pack was without Cobb, Cook and Montgomery (ironically the three healthiest guys right now) and still put of 32 points on the Falcons' average defense (more on that unit in a bit).

I'm focusing on the offense here because let's not kid ourselves. The Packers are not going to stop the Falcons on Sunday. Ryan and company finished the season as one of the league's most prolific offenses of all time. Their two headed running game with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman is the best 1-2 punch in the league. Julio Jones is the NFL's most athletically gifted wide receiver (though he's bothered by a toe injury) and Ryan has role players like Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel who are capable of big plays at any given moment.

The key for the Packers is to disrupt Ryan; force him into mistakes. But the Falcons' rise this season has coincided with much better offensive line play, led by center Alex Mack. They're protecting the presumptive MVP and as a result, he's been comfortable in the pocket and has made less bonehead plays. Atlanta is +11 in the give take this season, better than the Pack's +8.

Getting Morgan Burnett back would be monumental, more important than the injured wide receivers, in my book. The Georgia Tech alum and Atlanta native wants desperately to play in this one and the feeling is mutual. The defense desperately needs him to try to contain the prolific Falcons offense. My guess is he plays through the quad injury.

Atlanta supporters will point to their team's rise defensively, particularly in the last six weeks. But the QBs they played in the final six games are in a different galaxy, except Drew Brees in the finale--and he put up 32 points. They've lost their second best pass rusher, Adrian Clayborn, to a torn triceps last week. Their best guy, Vic Beasley, is a beast. But in the first matchup he didn't get close to Rodgers, thanks to great play by Bryan Bulaga. Dwight Freeney can still make a play or two, but isn't as productive as fellow old-timer Julius Peppers.

Their secondary lost its leader CB Desmond Trufant earlier in the season. The Packers passing game has the decisive edge in this matchup, no matter who is lined up at wide receiver.

Special teams are always magnified at this point in the season and the Pack should have the edge. Their kickoff and punt coverage units have struggled all season. Devin Hester broke a long one last week and when Trevor Davis was asked to return punts in the first matchup, pretty much by default, he broke a 55 yard return. If the Pack can tilt field position it will help on a day where they're short-handed.

As for the other intangibles, the Packers obviously come in with a QB and coach who have won title games, the Falcons cannot say the same. The Birds have home field, but they did in 2011 as well when Rodgers came in and delivered a virtuoso performance in a 48-20 Packers upset.

After what we witnessed last Sunday and what we've seen over the past eight weeks, how can you not believe that these Packers are destined to reach the Super Bowl. It will likely come down to which team gets the ball last.

20 years after Brett Favre, Reggie White and Desmond Howard led the Pack over the Patriots, it feels like we're going to get an encore. Trailing 34-31 late, Rodgers delivers one more time to win it.

Packers 38 Falcons 34

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Comments (17):

I have a couple of contrary takes here. This is already not a failed season. We have football in January, and more Happy Mondays than sad. I call that a success. I'm not spoiled and there are no sure things. I'm happy we're here and have a chance. Second, I want to see the Packers go big couple times in this game. I mean Ripkowski big. I'd like to see them trot out Ty and Rip with Cook, Cobb, and a WR to be named. Then they can split Ty out and Rip run or Run the ball with Ty behind Rip. The games don't get easier. They only get harder. We still got a shot. Now, where's my Tums. Go Pack!

on January 20th, 2017 at 01:47pm

LynnDickeyfan I'm not saying your spoiled for wanting the Packers to win, I/m saying we have been spoiled by how well they have done for the last 25 years compared to other teams, I/m guessing your in your 50's like me and some others on here, we lived thru the 70's and 80's, where we looked like the browns now, it was hard to stay a Packers fan BUT we did. most of the younger guys have no memories of that and I guarantee there spoiled.on this game , like I said last week 1st one to 40 may win. let's hope that wr Davis can do what he did last time he played the birds, nice return and td catch.. would rather seem him back there on kickoffs then Michael. Hyde or Cobb will return punts. This maybe Janis time again if Geronimo can't go. I just hope Adams doesn't try to play, play 2 downs and is done, and takes up a roster spot, can't do that, we need everybody. Our d as always , needs to make 1 takeaway. and we can't turn it over. when we played them the 1st time 52 didn't play either , we need him to play like he did against the vikes. Coleman never played against us the 1st time, he scares me. if 12 pulls this off he is God. I will try this again, worked last week and they proved me wrong. 37-31 Birds. GO Packers.

on January 20th, 2017 at 06:17pm

Larry, comment about " spoiled" is directed to those people who think any season that doesn't end in a championship is a catastrophic event. They seem to forget to have fun along the way. Yes, I want championship, but I am smart enough to enjoy the success we have already attained.

on January 20th, 2017 at 08:50pm

Hey Cain, where are you now?

on January 20th, 2017 at 09:30pm

Unfortunately the Packers are going to get lit up. No way our Packers win this one. Atlanta 45 Packers 28 another failed season

on January 20th, 2017 at 10:08am

There's going to be a trick play on special teams. Maybe a fake FG or punt, but most likely a surprise onsides kick. You heard it here first, Mr. Head Cheese

on January 20th, 2017 at 10:32am

First, I'm just going to point out that over the last 8 weeks, this offense has been unstoppable. Truly a team effort on all fronts. Secondly, while the defense is not what we'd like to see, they are not a liability. Capers will have a plan, and we just need everyone on defense to execute it. Thirdly, I don't care how many trick plays on special teams come up, or how many touches so-and-so gets, or any of that whiny fan crap gets spewed out between now and Sunday. Let me just say Al Davis was right. Just win, baby!!!

on January 20th, 2017 at 10:47am

you are welcome for your idea of spoiled, I guess mine is different. I think were spoiled, patriots, pittsburg are too. just my opinion. Like I said, look around the league, how do you think they feel about us? Most other fans want to see new teams in the super bowl not the same ones every other year. why do you think the vikes fans hate us so much, envy and jealousy, they want to be us. no big deal, just my thoughts..Go Packers.

on January 21st, 2017 at 11:00am

Yes, case closed. Keep spouting your "alternative facts" for which all of the worst kinds of Packers fans are famous. There a plenty of good, reasonable Packer fans, but you are a bleeping clown and demonstrate it with every post. Strawman arguments, circular've checked every box for membership into Delusion Nation.

on January 23rd, 2017 at 01:51pm

Larry...bwahahahaha Vikings fans hate Packers fans because of your supreme arrogance and belief that you actually are a part of the team. Do they wish they could have had two all-time QB for a quarter century consecutively? Hell yes. Are they jealous of YOU (Packer fans) specifically? Hell no. You people are the most delusional assholes in sports and deserve every crushing playoff loss you endure.

on January 23rd, 2017 at 08:50am

This site was crashed this morning - just like the Packers season. It's over again Pecker fans. As thin as Matt Ryan's playoff resume? It's not so thin anymore as he now has as many Superbowl appearances as the great Arog. Added to that will be the MVP award. The Falcons will lose to the Patriots, but at least they blew out the lowly Peckers.

on January 23rd, 2017 at 09:16am

OK I am not a Packers fan. But I do have to say de-legitimatizing Aaron Rodgers on this loss is ridiculous! what he did in the 8 game win streak was borderline legendary, he carried a flawed team to the NFC championship. I hate the fact that the MVP depends on not losing your last game. Sorry the injuries caught up with your team. but removing Rodgers from MVP conversation. I don't get it!

on January 23rd, 2017 at 10:01am

NFI 1st, exactly what I said, 12 is MVP because he carried them with no running game and no d. Ryan has the best 2 headed rb's in the game.Ryan is offensive player of the year. btg, so your telling me , if we were the browns and never won much and hardly ever got to the playoffs, and no super bowls or titles. you would still be just as envious. I know,you don't like that word. still hate us, I know your wrong. You think were arrogant because we win more then lose.I said I was spoiled, what do you want? also, you had 2 chances to draft 12 , don't blame anyone but spielman for that. great year again, enjoyed the season, now it's draft time.

on January 23rd, 2017 at 10:37am

Absolute delusional clown. You are the very worst of Packer fans; honestly believing you are a part of the team and that others are jealous of YOU. Of YOU!!! Bwhahahhahah

on January 23rd, 2017 at 11:22am

I'm sure you're one of the clowns that signed the petition to ban Joe Buck from Packler games because you think he hates the Packers too. The irony is so bleeping thick it's incredible.

on January 23rd, 2017 at 11:30am

your wrong again. love buck and aikmain, they do great job and are very even, so wrong gain, i have 9-10 viking fans over here in sconny, and there the ones who told me that, so argue with your fans then.go find your own site, maybe you don't have one. case closed.

on January 23rd, 2017 at 11:40am

You should have stuck with your funeral article and stayed with it. Your squad was a joke that got exposed again. Please encourage Ted to sign Dom to a long-term contract extension.

on January 23rd, 2017 at 12:34pm

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