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Packers Defense Can Prove Its for Real Against Atlanta

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Packers Defense Can Prove Its for Real Against Atlanta

Against the Seattle Seahawks, the Green Bay Packers defense looked like a juggernaut and maybe that’s how it will be for the rest of the season. But one thing is for sure, the Falcons will provide a much stiffer test than the offensively challenged squad from the Northwest.

I don’t think I need to go into the detail about how good the Atlanta offense is, we can all remember last season. The Falcons have the reigning MVP, the best wide receiver in the game and two very skilled, very explosive running backs. The offensive line and the depth at wideout isn’t bad either.

Certainly, it was encouraging to see the Packers stymie Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, but they have done that plenty of times before. There may be no team in the league better at defending Wilson, so it wasn’t a huge shock to see him struggle again.

During his career, Ryan is 3-3 against the Packers, 4-4 if you count the playoffs. But in the regular season, he has a 99.5 passer rating and 13 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions.

So if Green Bay is going to win, it needs to contain Ryan and force him into a mistake or two. Last year, the Packers couldn’t find a way to pressure him, and he tore up an undermanned secondary. This time around, the pass rush, if it plays like last week, looks in better shape. The defensive backs should be better too. Although the thought of Quinten Rollins, Damarious Randall or Davon House covering Jones makes me feel slightly ill.

The truth is that Jones will probably get his. He is that kind of player. Green Bay did limit him in the regular season game last season (3 catches, 29 yards), but more often than not, he’s gonna make some big plays, you just can’t let him go off for 200 yards, which he did against Green Bay in 2015.

While Jones ripped up the Packers last season, so did Mohamed Sanu, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Sanu caught two touchdown passes against Green Bay last season and in the championship game, Freeman and Coleman caught seven passes for more than 70 yards.They combined for 149 total yards.

A big theme for the defense this season has been speed and athleticism, we can all see that from the implementation of the nitro package, which puts six defensive backs on the field.

Morgan Burnett has excelled as the inside linebacker in that package and Kentrell Brice has also made a greater impact. And with the play of Nick Perry and Clay Matthews outside, as well as Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry, the pass rush, the run defense and the secondary should all be better.

That’s what we are all thinking and hoping at least, guess we'll find out Sunday night in Atlanta.



Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (25) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Chris Peterson's picture

Yea I think Burnett. He did the job last week against Graham. The Falcons killed GB with multiple tight ends last year. See if they use that again.

canadapacker's picture

I wouldnt call it tearing it up. The Bears had a big blown coverage and blown sack on Ryan on an 88 yard play. Then poor tackling from the 20 yard line in. He had one other catch for 40 yards - didnt see that one - but it is not like he was playing like Gronk. I am more concerned about the wideouts and the guys ( Coleman) coming out of the backfield. We had some issues with that before and we cant try so hard to get to Ryan that we forget that - Ryan cant run that well but that dump off into the middle has killed us in the past and I dont know if that is fixed because Seattle was missing their best RB.

MarkinMadison's picture

Dead right. If the Packers D can come out and do the job against Atlanta (even if the team loses) I'll feel a whole lot better about this team moving forward in the playoffs this year. I know, it's week 2 and no one should say the P word. But let's be real, unless #12 goes down the Packers are going to the playoffs, the only question is how far they will go.

Chris Peterson's picture

Well the NFC is tough. And the Vikings and Lions bot look like playoff contenders so I am not there yet. I am with MM, let's win 10, then talk playoffs.

MarkinMadison's picture

That is the sober approach. Vikings and Lions. I get it, they looked good in week 1. Year in and year out, the Packers just always find their way into the playoffs. And the Vikings and Lions usually find a way to screw it up.

Graham Crackah's picture

Any chance Chris Odom is out there on Sunday ready to seek revenge against the team that released him? With Brooks possibly out, we might need the depth...

Chris Peterson's picture

Possibly. Although I think if Brooks doesn't go, Fackrell will be the next guy up.

PackfanNY's picture

Looking forward to seeing our defense against the Falcons. I do think we have improved but this is an offense first league and I expect points to be scored by both teams. That is just the way the game is played today. I mean the Falcons went to the Super Bowl and it wasn't like they were trotting out the four horseman of the apocalypse either on D.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

The Game opened GB +2 & has now gone to GB+3. I don't like GB getting points from anyone. Hope I'm Wrong. I was hoping for a Pick-Um game. I've been wrong before. Hope Las Vegas has this line the way they want it. Experience tells me this is not a good line for GB. Hopefully because of the Playoff Game it is.

Tarynfor12's picture

The only way to take GB is on a teaser...bump it up to 7 and add Seattle -1 and or Carolina same.

The over tells you Vegas has gained little faith in GB defense as Seattle's offense seems weak but enough for SF .

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Hey Tarynfor12, Nice to hear from you. I can't bet GB +3. Teasers aren't for me. The Money Line seems to favor GB. GB +125 +130. Atl -145 -150. This tells me Vegas wants the $$$ on Atl. My thinking is Las Vegas should have GB @ +145 or +150. The +3 confuses me, but it could be the 1st half money. Atl -2 at the half is a lot of money for LV if they don't cover. I want to be opposite the money here. I might throw in a GB +2, 1st half bet, & play the Over. What do you think??

Tarynfor12's picture

I'm more leery of the over than the 3 pts. If GB wins this game it will be a 4th quarter comeback if down by 10 only. I don't think the defense can hold Atl nor the GB offense to have enough possessions. I still think tease them to 7 and look for the push at worst to save the parley as mentioned in former post.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Hey Tarynfor12, I can't play GB+3. That line loses 8 of 10 times, unless it's the Pats or Seattle. I honestly don't think Atlanta is strong enough to get the money in this game. That's just my Educated Guess. I have my own system as you know, of going against the money, & have been very successful doing it. I can see Atlanta getting the 1st half money at -2. I'm tempted to go against that, but I HATE betting GB anytime they are getting points.

As far as the Over goes. Anytime it's over 50, in this case 54, Win or Lose, if I bet it, I'm on the Over. I can't go under a 54, no matter who is playing. If I play this game, I think I'm going to put a couple of bucks on GB +2, THE 1ST Half. I'd rather have it -1. If Atlanta gets the Money in this game it will be on the 1st half. That's my opinion. I want to be opposite the money here. I'll probably regret not taking your advise. Believe me, I know you know your S#@T. Good luck on your teaser. If this game goes higher than +3, I'm off of it completely.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"Vegas has gained little faith in GB defense"

Vegas doesn't really are about the GB defense. They care about getting equal money on both teams and profiting off the rake.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

You keep thinking like that. That's exactly the way Vegas wants you to think. In the mean time I'll keep collecting money from people who think like you.

Tarynfor12's picture

So Vegas doesn't care how an offense or defense can play in trying to get equal money bet on games to set the lines, move the lines. I guess injuries gave no effect on getting money one side or another either. These are reasons that make the lines move.

Oppy's picture

My gut says the Packers secondary is going to rough up Julio Jones from the first snap to the last on Sunday.

Tell House implicitly- you get up into Jones' chest on every single release like you're trying to set him down, don't worry about it if he gets a step on you- we'll put HaHa over the top to cover you if you whiff. You just make it your goal to make sure Julio is sore in the morning.

If they really want to have fun, put Brice at the LOS one a few random snaps, just to get a good jam on him he won't forget.. It would be fun.

LayingTheLawe's picture

After last weeks great performance we were told to slow our roll due to the Seahawks terrible offensive line. So this will be a big test to see the level of improvement in the d.

On a side note did JJ Watt get bit by a radioactive spider when he was at UW? He had a dislocated finger that broke through the skin on Sunday, but I guess he ain't got time to bleed and will play four days later.

Bearmeat's picture

The defense is going to have to play well to win. BOTH starting tackles might be out. With the speed that ATL's pass rushers have = yikes.

I think the defense is improved, but I have little faith that they can hold ATL under 24. Not yet. Show me one more week and I'll start believing.

This has the makings of an ugly road game.

Oppy's picture

What happened to Bakhtiari?

Spock's picture

Both OL tackle starters out is very concerning. MM might have to play a lot of 2 TE sets just for the blocking! If the OL was healthy I'd feel good about this game. Matty ice is no Arod. I still feel that Ryan's MVP for last year was iffy at best. Yeah, I'm a homer, but Rodgers 'run the table' play was beyond incredible. Well, that was last year. If the offense for GB can keep QB1 clean I really think our improved team speed on defense could be the difference. I just hate that the NFL always uses the Packers to open other teams new stadiums. #$$$for the shield

A Pickled Packer's picture

If the two tackles are out I would expect to see more running plays and maybe the debut of Aaron Jones. Would be nice to get a running get going to protect Rodgers. He was thrown to the ground too much last week, many more games like that and he'll be a wreck by the end of the season.

Nick Perry's picture

I like the idea of Aaron Jones playing in this game. IMO he might just be the best RB on the Packers not named Montgomery.

marcopo's picture

I'm impressed with how everybody goes so apocryphal after one game. Yes, it's a much better defense. Faster. Yes, It's much deeper, and should take the hits it couldn't last year. Yes, it's a more "mature" defense which has always been what Caper's needs. And yes, it will take hits as the year unrolls. So quit biting your nails and enjoy the season.

Lphill's picture

Had the Bears not made mistakes and hold onto the ball they would have beat Atlanta , they had pressure up front which is what the Packers could bring , disrupt Ryan is the key which the Packers were not able to do the last time they met , if Rodgers gets in s groove early I like our chances .

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