On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., May. 02, 2015 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM CDT Packers' 2015 NFL Draft Party Evolution is located at 233 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee, Wis. Event parking is available in the parking structure next door (225 E. Chicago St.), where full day parking passes will be $10.
  • Sun., May. 03, 2015 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT Jared Abbrederis appearance

    Staff Appreciation Week

  • Tue., May. 26, 2015 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM CDT Green Bay Packers Blood Drive

    Green Bay Packers Blood Drive

    Sponsor code – Packers

  • Sun., May. 31, 2015 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM CDT Packers Coaching School

    The Green Bay Packers are set to host the team’s second annual “Green Bay Packers Coaching School” at Lambeau Field on Sunday, May 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    The complimentary coaching school has a curriculum exclusively designed for youth football coaches, and can accommodate a maximum of 300 coaches. The event will feature innovative classroom sessions in the Lambeau Field Atrium, as well as on-field football instruction from top local high school and youth football coaches in the Don Hutson Center.

  • Sat., Jun. 06, 2015 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM CDT Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic The 18th annual Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic is set for Saturday, June 6, inside the Don Hutson Center, the Packers’ indoor practice facility.
  • Sat., Jun. 20, 2015 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM CDT Jared Abbrederis appearance 11th Annual Youth Football Golf Outing

News

Print
RSS

One last look: Packers-Falcons’ shine dulled only temporarily

Posted Dec 6, 2013

Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan will return marquee status to matchup soon enough

GREEN BAY—Eight months ago, Packers-Falcons in Week 14 at Lambeau Field appeared to be one of the top contests of the season.

Current circumstances say otherwise, but that doesn’t mean this matchup should be scratched from the marquee list for years to come. In all likelihood, the two franchise quarterbacks in Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers will make this must-see NFC football again.

This season, however, took a detour for both teams, as injuries knocked out major players for short and long stretches, and the game lost its appeal, getting flexed out of prime time.

The Falcons, who held a 17-0 lead in the NFC title game 11 months ago and came within five yards of going to the Super Bowl, may have tried to hold together an aging team too long to take one more shot. They’re 3-9, with as many losses as they’ve had in the last two regular seasons combined.

The Packers weren’t adequately prepared at backup quarterback – bringing in two signal callers in Week 1 after jettisoning every reserve candidate who took a snap in training camp. Without Rodgers, they’re 0-4-1 and hanging on for their playoff lives after a 5-2 start.

It’s a good bet, however, that Sunday’s matchup is just a one-year hiatus from Packers-Falcons being a schedule headliner.

Heading into this season, Ryan and Rodgers had missed the playoffs as starting quarterbacks only once each – Ryan in his second season of 2009, Rodgers in his first as a starter in ’08.

Their head-to-head duels to date have been significant.

Ryan’s win at Lambeau Field as a rookie in ’08 helped put him on the map and propel the Falcons to a surprise NFC Wild Card berth.

The regular-season meeting in Atlanta in 2010 had everything – a fourth-and-10 bullet of a TD pass from Rodgers late in the fourth quarter to tie the score, and Ryan leading the Falcons back down the field in the final minute for a game-winning field goal.

The Packers got their revenge in spectacular fashion in the 2010 playoffs at the Georgia Dome. Then, just when it appeared the Falcons were going to turn the tide in Week 5 of 2011 by taking a 14-0 lead just over one quarter into the game, the Packers stormed back with 25 straight points to continue a season-opening winning streak that eventually reached 13 games.

Now, there’s suddenly minimal charm to a game featuring two teams that went a combined 0-8-1 in November. The Falcons’ overtime win last Sunday, Dec. 1, shows they’re still fighting, while the Packers have even more to fight for.

“Everybody in this locker room thinks December matters,” veteran defensive lineman Ryan Pickett said. “We just have to get one win.

“I guarantee you Atlanta is not watching tape feeling bad for us. Nobody is feeling bad for us. We just have to get up and play.”

With the Packers still alive in the NFC North race, the utopian scenario in their case is to win, see the Lions lose and eventually look back on this Falcons game as the one that righted the ship and pointed the Packers back on the path to glory.

That’s what the game against the Giants in Week 16 of 2010 ultimately became for Green Bay, and the appeal of Packers-Giants confrontations through 2011 and ’12 only intensified.

OK, so that seems a bit far-fetched, but who knows? What is known is this Packers-Falcons meeting isn’t what it was thought to be, but the matchup’s allure is bound to return, and quite likely as soon as next season.

Atlanta is already on the schedule to visit Green Bay in 2014. Packers-Falcons might not be given a prime-time slot in April, but if it’s late in the season, and Ryan and Rodgers are doing their thing, don’t be surprised if it gets flexed the other way next time.

Additional coverage - Dec. 6

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Super Bowl I rematch: Packers vs. Chiefs

    (0:53) Posted 2 hours ago

    The 2015 NFL season features 19 Super Bowl rematches on the road to Super Bowl 50. The matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I is one of those rematches.

  • NFC Championship Rematch: Packers vs. Seahawks

    (1:09) Posted 2 hours ago

    Check out the trailer for the most anticipated rematch from the 2014 NFL Playoffs. Will the Packers find their redemption?

  • Prospect Primer: OT Ty Sambrailo, Colorado State

    (2:13) Posted 4 hours ago

    Packers.com presents 'Prospect Primer,' a video look at an assortment of draft-eligible players who attended the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Colorado State OT Ty Sambrailo started 25 games at left tackle over the past two seasons, earning second-team All-Mountain West in 2013 and then first team in 2014. Back in 2012, saw game action at four of five spots along the offensive line.