Packers Offense Will Need to Soar Higher Than the Falcons'

It's been a string of crushing playoff defeats for the Packers, chronicling back to 2011. The most recent of the bunch just last January in Atlanta for the NFC title game, one of which has been well-documented since.

In 2017, the hopes, expectations and goals remain the same. Nothing short of a Super Bowl is acceptable in Green Bay, and a long offseason featuring uncharacteristic roster moves courtesy of general manager Ted Thompson says that the Packers may have gone "all-in" on the season, much to the glee of Aaron Rodgers.

To make another playoff push, the Packers need to conquer their NFC conference foes, and that includes Dan Quinn's Falcons. 

This Sunday night will be the third time the Packers have squared off with the Falcons in less than a year. The first of the trio of meetings will have been the regular season loss in 2016, in which the Packers fell short by a mere point, 33-32.

It was a game that young receivers Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis and Jeff Janis shined by all catching touchdown passes. The same group will be there this Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but they'll also be joined by Martellus Bennett, Randall Cobb and other additions to the Packers' rejuvenated offense, including full-time running back, Ty Montgomery.

It will also be the first game of the year for Allison, who was just activated to the Packers' roster after serving his one-game suspension.

In their second meeting for the right to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, Jordy Nelson was sporting a kevlar jacket after suffering broken ribs just two weeks before against the Giants. The Packers' team as a whole was far from 100 percent.

Barring any changes to the injury report, which currently features three of the Packers' top four offensive tackles, they'll be relatively healthier than they have been since October of last year.

Thankfully, too. It'll take a high-powered offense to keep up with a team whose own unit ranked among the NFL's elites a season ago. Forget what you saw in Chicago last weekend; no formidable judgment can be made on any team after the first game of the season.

It may very well be a shootout, but the Packers have the speed to keep up. At least, that's what they showed in the second half against the Seahawks.

"We have to stay true to who we are," Nelson said after Wednesday's practice. "If you start trying to get out of character, speed things up, rush your routes, it's only going to play to their advantage."

Nelson was on the receiving-end of a 58-yard completion on the Packers' first drive last October. He split the safety coverage and found an opening down the seam, leading to the Rodgers-to-Nelson score just two plays later.

It could be another big day for Randall Cobb, who was the team's leading receiver last week. His tendency to sit in zone coverage, much like Nelson, and often be the safety valve in third-down situations underneath makes him an invaluable component to the offense, and a component that'll likely be utilized heavily come Sunday night.

Another likely contributor, Allison, caught his first career touchdown against the Falcons last season. It was the first of two he would have by season's end.

If he's anything like what he showed in preseason, including showing off newfound elusiveness after the catch, expect the Packers to look his way in a variety of situations.

"I think what he did last year, going from a practice squad guy to our fourth receiver and sometimes going to our third receiver when Randall [Cobb] was out, and sometimes the second receiver when Davante [Adams] was in the backfield," Nelson said of Allison. 

Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison (81) catches his first career touchdown. (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)

"It's amazing how quick of a jump you can have when you have an unbelievable skill set. To be that size, have the speed, the quickness, agility, incredible footwork. It's great to have him back, he's going to be extremely helpful for us."

Coincidentally, Allison was promoted from the practice squad to the Packers' 53-man roster just six days prior to the week eight meeting against the Falcons last season. Now, he was officially reinstated to the Packers' current 53-man roster five days before the next Falcons match-up.

Cornerback LaDarius Gunter, somewhat of a savior when the Packers had nowhere else to turn to at cornerback in 2016, was released in favor of Allison to open a roster spot.

Wherever Allison lines up, which could be anywhere considering his ability to play multiple receiver spots—whether it be on the outside or the slot on either side of the field, his availability will pay dividends for a slow-starting offense from a week ago.

At 6-3, his lanky frame coupled with his previously mentioned versatility could create a variety of mis-match complications for the Falcons.

"I work hard at being special," Allison said. "Just by critiquing myself and learning those guys in front of me. I watch [Randall] Cobb a lot, I watch Jordy [Nelson], I watch Davante [Adams], and just try to implement the things that they do well into my game and help me be a better player.

"I feel much better out there with my routes, with my reads, and just being amongst the guys out there. I'm feeling like I can play better and I can play faster. Less thinking and just react."

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (34)

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croatpackfan's picture

September 14, 2017 at 06:07 am

Geronimo, we feel the same! Go and dismantle Falcons on Sunday!

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Since'61's picture

September 16, 2017 at 10:16 pm

Deleted

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Savage57's picture

September 14, 2017 at 08:52 am

Since. Croat's learned the mentality that any criticism is bad criticism motivated by some nefarious purpose or character shortcomings on the part of the author. He's relatively new to NFL football and the Packers, thus lacks the reality check that sometimes this team can and does make bad football decisions.

Let it go, and keep on sharing what your eyes tell you.

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Since'61's picture

September 14, 2017 at 09:00 am

Savage - you are correct and I have let it go. But I do not like nor will I accept anyone putting words in my posts that I did not use and I have never ever insulted Croat in anyway. In fact I respect Croat as I stated in my post a couple of articles ago. Regrettably he has changed my view of him. I am now letting this issue and him go.
My thanks to you Savage for taking the time to respond and your accurate comment. You have been and always will be an asset to this blog. Take good care. Thanks, Since '61

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croatpackfan's picture

September 14, 2017 at 09:17 am

I have no intention to continue irrational discussions. This "Gunter" discussion went already in that category...

And Just as short answer to your answer on my post to third person, where I explained why I write what I wrote, I thought I was/am clear. I was not (obviously). So I will repeat:
Regarding you, Since '61, I wrote more than once that I respect your football knowledge, but at some issues, especially regarding Aaron Rodgers and LaDarius Gunter you showed me (this nis very important - ME!) that you are not willing to take in consideration others opinion, but stays with yours in quite "ex cathedra" manner.
That is all. I can live with that and I will not going deeper to this discussion any more. I said my opinion and how I see the situation. You said yours.
I think we can agree that we disagree. I will respect that.

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scullyitsme's picture

September 14, 2017 at 09:21 am

I don't have a dog in this fight but I think perspective is needed, this is comment on a packer blog article, about a player that's on the fringe of the roster. Just sayin.

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JerseyAl's picture

September 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm

sounds like life or death stuff to me...

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marpag1's picture

September 14, 2017 at 01:15 pm

You guys wouldn't know a first-rate corner if he punched you right in the practice squad.

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Since'61's picture

September 14, 2017 at 03:41 pm

Herb Adderly. Thanks, Since '61

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Finwiz's picture

September 14, 2017 at 04:20 pm

And Bob Jeter.
Willie Buchanon wasn't bad either.

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The TKstinator's picture

September 14, 2017 at 04:35 pm

61: Herb Adderley punched you in the practice squad? Well that's a fine "how do you do?"
;)

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Since'61's picture

September 14, 2017 at 06:25 pm

TK - it was a long time ago and I have since forgiven him. Thanks, Since '61

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Since'61's picture

September 14, 2017 at 02:24 pm

Al - my apologies to you, the CHTV staff and all of my fellow bloggers for my part in the Gunter "discussion". I regret the reader's time and blog space that I wasted. I should have "turned the other cheek" and never let it get as far as it did. I don't expect that I will let it happen again. Case closed and moving on. Best to you and CHTV always. Thanks, Since '61

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Cartwright's picture

September 14, 2017 at 08:46 pm

As Packer fans all I can say is let their be peace. And back to Geronoimo Allison, what a pair of hands this guys got hey. If he has a great game against Atlanta I'm calling him little Julio! Go Packers

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The TKstinator's picture

September 14, 2017 at 06:10 am

I ain't no sabermetrician or nothing but I'd think there is a fairly strong correlation between outscoring your opponent and victory.
I work hard at being special too.

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Lphill's picture

September 14, 2017 at 06:20 am

I know the Packers will score against Atlanta but let's hope the defense can hold off Atlanta"s offense . The Bears were able to with pressure up front .

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 14, 2017 at 07:21 am

I like our chances against the Falcons this time a lot better then the last time we played them. Not saying we will win, just like the team we are going to Atlanta with compared to our last trip there.

The last time we played them, we went into the game with 3 WR's who wouldn't have played if it was a regular season game. We went in with our top CB being a guy that just got cut because he was at least 5th in depth chart. Not to mention that by the end of the game we lost our top RB, and 3/5ths of our OL.

This time going in our WR's and CB's are healthy. Also our CB's look completely different. And our DL is much improved. We are using Burnett more as an ILB allowing us to have more speed on the field.

Overall I like our chances a lot better.

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rdent's picture

September 14, 2017 at 11:40 am

I agree, I feel better about this game than the NFC Champ game last year, if GB can pull out a win Sunday night it gives them a leg up on two of the better teams in the NFC.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 14, 2017 at 11:55 am

Yes, and the Falcons looked seriously hung over in Chicago. Those Super Bowl loss hangover tend to last for a while and thiers must be particularly awful.

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Handsback's picture

September 14, 2017 at 07:38 am

The one constant in the NFL SB era is that the loser of the SB goes through a slump the next year. (Maybe NE is the only exception.) The Falcons aren't unstopable, but they are pretty good. The Packer's D won't limit them as much as they did Seattle, but enough to win the game. I'm expecting a win by 10 points.

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The TKstinator's picture

September 14, 2017 at 08:10 am

But you had to enjoy KC slapping NE around last weekend.

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rdent's picture

September 14, 2017 at 11:44 am

Hell ya! Loved watching that 2nd half, look on Brady's face was priceless.

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The TKstinator's picture

September 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm

I really only dislike two teams: NE and SEA.
Most of the rest only receive indifference from the TK Administration.

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Spud Rapids's picture

September 14, 2017 at 08:20 am

So I think this is going to be a tough game... it really is a trap game. It seems that the NFL schedule makers want the Packers to play everyone in the NFC when they open a new stadium... that crowd will be wild but my hope for the Packers lies in the front 7. I think they can really make Ryan uncomfortable and he is not very mobile. My vote for the MVP of the D is going to be Perry for getting pressure and on offense I think Monty is going to bust some runs.

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mrtundra's picture

September 14, 2017 at 08:58 am

I'm looking for big games from Montgomery, Allison and Adams, offensively and big games from Randall and Rollins, defensively. Our D line will play well and Daniels will be disruptive, but Randall and Rollins will be key to beating Julio and Sanu deep with a little Kevin King thrown in for good measure. Brice gets an INT.

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LayingTheLawe's picture

September 14, 2017 at 10:37 am

Maybe I misunderstand what the term trap game means. But playing the team that Just beat you in the NFC championship in their home opener that's the opening of a new stadium seems more a circle it and pay attention to it big time game. It does not seem to be a game that surprises you with how difficult it is going to be, The Packers will be playing a fired up defending nfc champ who is playing in front of a loud home crowd.

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 14, 2017 at 08:47 am

" Nothing short of a Super Bowl is acceptable in Green Bay".....

Then why are many defending not going to the SB with the... ' We made the playoffs 8000 times in a row, what more can you want.'

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Savage57's picture

September 14, 2017 at 08:54 am

Bugs me a lot. It's "Titletown", not "Madetheplayoffstown".

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lou's picture

September 14, 2017 at 09:16 am

A great way to start the season, can the Packers beat a physical team on grass in week one (yes), can they beat a fast team on turf in week two, to be determined. If the answer to game 2 is yes it will provide a great confidence boost for the rest of the season and the schedule makers did us a favor.

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Rick in WA's picture

September 14, 2017 at 10:27 am

If I remember correctly, our pass rush had problems last year because of Ryan's quick release. Hopefully this year we will have more defenders with speed getting in on him or moving him around. That will help as much as improved coverage by our current DBs IMHO...

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Arthur Jackson's picture

September 14, 2017 at 11:33 am

Could be, but it's much easier to release the ball quickly when the defense has only corners that are beat right from the snap.

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Lphill's picture

September 14, 2017 at 11:11 am

I just wish we had Brooks for this game , how does the guy get a concussion in his first action . I know things happen but I hope he can stay healthy moving forward because he is a solid player and contributor.

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rdent's picture

September 14, 2017 at 11:53 am

They signed him mainly for depth and already he will more than likely be unavailable for a couple weeks, yikes! Hope Perry and Mathews don't pull up hurt.

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Cartwright's picture

September 14, 2017 at 09:25 pm

I think the taste of defeat like that last year in the playoffs is still there. They made the Packers defense look like swiss cheese. It was an embarrassment. The only way to remove the taste is with a win. I expect a fired up bunch.

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