Packers XLV

Falcons' Bold Draft Move Came With Packers In Mind

Posted October 5th, 2011 @ 04:10pm

After witnessing Aaron Rodgers' finest hour and official coming out party in their own house in January, the Falcons' braintrust made a bold, daring draft day decision: If you can't stop 'em, try to score along with them.

They traded two #1s, a number two and two #4s to move from 27th to sixth in April's draft to select former Alabama stud receiver Julio Jones. Yes they had the sturdy, above average runner in Michael Turner and Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White. But missing was someone to go deep, to remove all the attention from White and to open up the middle for ageless tight end Tony Gonzalez.

Matt Ryan needed another toy, because the Packers offense only figured to be better this year with the return of Finley and Grant. So the Falcons plucked Jones from the draft and the returns are already in. They love him. Last Sunday in Seattle, Ryan targeted him 17 times. 17! In a game they led throughout. He caught 11 passes for 127 yards and is the early favorite for offensive rookie of the year. You can argue they've gone too far away from Turner, but they know they need to be able to put up 30 points against the Packers and Saints.

They also recognize that their defense is not going to send offensive coordinators running for the hills. There are some nice pieces, but even the addition of for Viking defensive end Ray Edwards has done nothing to improve the pass rush. They're defense gives up 26 points per game, 27th in the NFL. The Pack are now #1 at 37 points per game.

This game feels like a shootout. And Thomas Dimitroff and the Falcons feel like they are better equipped to score with the Pack, with Julio Jones lined up opposite Roddy White. Expect Dom Capers to show some things he's been holding back. The offensive line is the Achilles heel of this team. They've been a bit better the last two weeks, but Chicago almost knocked Ryan into retirement in the opener and this is the best defense that line has faced this season.

Is it Sunday night yet?

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Comments (16):

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on May 29th, 2012 at 06:41pm

Not predicting anything here, but think that So'oto just may actually see the field this week. Not sure why, just a hunch. I think offensively, we will continue to put up huge numbers. James Jones got a taste of the endzone and will have great matchups all over the field. I hope this is the week that we let Green try his hand at a HB screen on at least one occasion. -- I love Driver, but I am afraid his time to let Cobb pass him on the depth chart is near. Great article about YAC this week and Cobb is too electric. I love DD as much as anyone, but the time has come. Let DD start but after that, need to get Cobb in the slot. GoPack!

on October 5th, 2011 at 06:10pm

meant to post this on the last article but must say......OSSG, if I see any form of Wildcat, Packercat, Wildcobb or whatever, I will personally drive to GB and slap MM upon his return. I cannot imagine a more stupid decision. Please tell me you don't actually "want" that kind of thing. All of your football cred will disappear. The ball should be in Rodgers hand under center. Never in something as gimicky and worthless as the "wildcobb". GoPack!

on October 5th, 2011 at 06:13pm

Scheny....calm down !! You have a fine football mind now massage it. Think about what I said. This is not about taking Rodgers away from being under center. This is just something to add to MM's offensive arsenal. You would use this play only in the red zone coming out of a no huddle with Cobb in the Packercat. The defense would have no time to react. If you are afraid of AROD getting hurt in the slot do not even throw to him...the defense would be so confused we most likely would have several options to throw to. Cobb would not be Joe Webb running up the middle. I am obviously not endorsing this as a part of MM's everyday playbook but as an element of surprise like the succesful onside kick recovery and Capers "psycho stand up defense. Anytime you can give the defense something at least to think about and scheme for in future games is to our advantage. The vanilla look is present in purple lets keep them guessing about the green and gold. GO PACK GO !!

on October 5th, 2011 at 10:18pm

On the surface, this game feels like a repeat of the Packers/Saints game on opening night. I agree that the potential is there for a shootout, with the exception of an improvement in the Packers' defense. I'm expecting further improvement, along with the extra "something" Capers maybe hanging onto, as you stated earlier. The Falcons will come out with a "we have something to prove" attitude...don't think for a moment they're not still smarting from the playoff game thrashing. The Falcons' defense has a lot of issues of their own, issues they could have addressed in the draft had they not given up as much as they did for Jones. I'm not seeing this one as the "trap" game some are expecting, but with a national Sunday night audience, it should be plenty entertaining.

on October 5th, 2011 at 12:35pm

It's starting to feel like Denver was a nice warm up to this game. We got ran on some with Denver and if the Falcon's are smart, they took notice. Turner cracked us open once and if Atlanta is going to beat the Pack, he is going to have to do it again. This is just the kind of opponent that can help us avoid a let down. We've got resent history and they can be high powered too. Hopefully we'll start to see the labors of the Quality Control department and coaching adjustments. I just feel too good about this team to worry much. I think I'm getting complacent. One more note: Zero sack for Mr. Edwards.

on October 5th, 2011 at 12:36pm

Ossg, There is no level of surprise that would be a better play than having rodgers with the ball. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. I could see having Cobb as your full time holder for fg's to keep people thinking. Not worth the risk to rodgers to put him in that position, even as a decoy. GoPack!

on October 6th, 2011 at 12:35pm

"This is the best defense Atlanta's line has faced this season." Really? Did you actually just write that? The Pack is 28th in total defense 1/4 through the season. Did you mean best DLine/pass rush the Falcons have faced? I could half-way buy that, but that is not entirely true either since they have played the Eagles (who lead the NFL in sacks thus far) and also have played the Bucs (who have a whole ONE less sack than the Packers). I know the Pack is your team, but you should try to keep your statements at least SOMEWHAT objective. --Love Pack Preview and this site by way. -Andy

on October 7th, 2011 at 07:47am

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