Well it wasn’t pretty. There were bad calls, bad decisions and bad breaks. The Packers get their first loss of the season to a very good offense. Playing the Falcons as they debuted their new stadium was a tough task.
There wasn’t much if anything good going for the Packers in this game. The notable thing that was good was they exploited the Falcons weakness on defense with underneath and screen passes but that didn’t happen until the second half when they were down by 24. In the second half, they finally came around using Ty Montgomery in the passing game in which he finished with 75 yards receiving and a touchdown. If they had done that early to begin with, the game would’ve been more competitive. Those quick passes would’ve also helped against Atlanta’s pass rush.
Good: Ty Montgomery
Even if it was a tough lose, Montgomery looks like a stud. He can be a huge weapon and I expect him to be. We played two good defenses to start the season, when we get some of those cupcake defenses I expect him to blow up. To me Montgomery is the ultimate X-factor.
I said it last week, the Packers defense just seems to show up against Seattle. This defense was not ready for the Falcons. Losing Daniels early definitely hurt us but he can only do so much. We have a long season, maybe this secondary can improve. If it doesn’t, then the offense needs to be equal to the 2011 Packers for a rematch.
Very Bad: Refs
The refs missed a few calls. After re-watching some plays, I firmly believe the refs made some bad calls at key situations. The Martellus Bennett pass interference play was horrible. He was looking at Rodgers and Cobb beat his defender. Not sure how you blame the receiver for being run into. Also they missed offensive pass interference on the Falcons first touchdown. At the end of the half they missed a helmet to helmet tackle on Rodgers that led to defensive touchdown for the Falcons.
Packers should be given a standing ovation for their efforts in a game that tied an arm behind the teams’ back. Your franchise quarterback isn’t going to give up just because they’re down three touchdowns in the third quarter, many quarterbacks would. Obviously, the offensive line was a worst case scenario situation on Sunday night, to the coaching staff’s credit they did a fairly good job at limiting the amount of time the line needed to block. Ending a play two seconds after the snap is against Aaron Rodger’s nature. A few of the huge hits number 12 took were due to his instinct to let the receivers create space.
The defense is getting a lot of heat after the Falcons moved the ball down the field with ease at times. The Packers defense did force Atlanta to punt four times, which is an upgrade over the last contest. After losing Mike Daniels, and spark plug Kentrell Brice, it could have become much uglier. Yes, they have no real answer for Julio Jones, and thus all the other Falcons weapons who use the space the star receiver’s presence creates wisely. That being said, the offense essentially gave away 14 points. The defense doesn’t deserve, fire their coordinator, level blame.
It’s only week two, anyone who made a world is ending season prediction after the team fell to 4-6 last season, looked quite dumb when wildcard weekend came around. Anyone who claimed the Milwaukee Bucks had no chance to make the playoffs 40 games into the season, eventually looked dumb. It’s week two and the team played with one arm. Please, don’t make your star quarterback come up with a new slogan.
Even though the Packers trailed the whole game, this team NEVER GAVE UP. You have to appreciate that. At times, it looked like Green Bay could make an improbable comeback, but it was all for naught. However, down 31-7 in the second half. Aaron Rodgers led his team on two touchdown drives, securing touchdown pass number 300 along the way, and keeping Green Bay in the game until the end. This team has a lot of adjustments to make, but they have be proud of sticking with it, and fighting until the final whistle.
There are a lot of things we can criticize about last night’s game, the turnovers, the horrible execution on defense, and allowing the Falcons defense free game at Rodgers, but what may not be as talked about, but what should be addressed the most, is the amount of dropped passes. There were too many of these to count, many of which were drive killers early for Green Bay. In this environment, you need all the momentum you can get, dropping passes are an automatic drive killer. What was most disappointing about the drops, is who actually dropped the passes. Players like Martellus Bennett and Randall Cobb, both of whom are fairly reliable, were culprits of these gaffs. For example, one of Cobb’s drops could have been a touchdown, instead, it translated to a Mason Crosby field goal, a four point swing. Many of Bennett’s drops came on crucial third down plays, if not for the miscues, drives early in the game that resulted in punts for Green Bay, could have become scoring drives, keeping the Pack in the game.
It was just one game but the Packers with Aaron Rodgers are always Superbowl or bust and it looked like they weren’t ready to take on defending NFC champs. Look for them to improve if there is a rematch in the play offs. Especially if all our injured starters are good to go.