Packers at Falcons Halftime Chat

Senior writer Mike Spofford took questions during halftime of the Packers-Falcons NFC Championship Game. See his take on the first half


OK, not the way anyone was hoping this would go, but here we go.

Comment From D

As bad a half as it could have been?

Yup. Packers blowing every chance when there's an opportunity to do something good.

Comment From Guest

It looks like the 4-6 Packers, any chance to turn it around?

Yeah, looks like November all over again. Packers have to score on first possession of second half, and then really buckle down on D. Offense has to work fast and furious.

Comment From Jay

Do you think they could come back?

I'm not counting Rodgers out, but 24 points is a really tall order.

Comment From Nathan

The opportunities for big plays on defense have been there, but we just haven't been able to make them. Is there any hope this defense can turn things around in the second half?

That's the thing. The opportunities have been there. You can't miss chances for turnovers. Don't know how many more Falcons are going to give you.

Comment From Jerry from Wilmington, nc

What else could have gone wrong?

Not much. It just started to snowball and now nobody can stem the tide.

Comment From Alex

Packers should probably look to spend some money on a really defense this offseason instead of just throwing undrafted rookies out there every week. Don't have enough playmakers.

This Falcons offense is the best in the league for a reason. The Packers have had their chances to get stops. Not getting any pressure when you rush 5 is killing the DBs in the back end.

Comment From Guest

Is there even a defense out there on 3rd down?

On one play, they left that FB wide open. One defender was pointing, but it clearly wasn't his assignment, and no one went over to take him. Just bad communication on a play they could have stopped. One of many, obviously.

Comment From Gabriella

Thoughts on Gunter?

If he catches one of those INTs, things look a lot different, for this team and for him.

Comment From PeteT

Tell us something that makes us believe the defense could be any better in the second half.

Because the Falcons are not playing flawlessly. The Packers have had chances for turnovers and just blown it.

Comment From Matt

Seems like the Falcons are getting way more pressure on Rodgers than we are on Ryan.

No question. The Packers aren't getting home, and the Falcons are getting free runners at Rodgers when they blitz. I don't know if it's communication issues up front, or miscues on the protection calls, or what. But I haven't seen that many free runners at Rodgers in a long, long time.

Comment From Steve

Close opportunities all fall short. 3 missed turnovers and a major one against them in the red zone. Its all about inches and milliseconds.

Yup, and they add up after a while.

Comment From Craig

They seem out of gas

The offense isn't helping the defense stay off the field, but the third downs are just too easy for Atlanta.

Comment From Pupper

Give it to me straight Doc, is there a chance?

If the Packers get a TD to start the third quarter and a stop on D, then yes. That's how the second half has to start.

Comment From Bruno

Are you listening any artificial crowd noise?

They play a lot of music here, but nothing that seems artificial to me.

Comment From Quite Right

Stop lying to people. There is no chance with a team with such inferior talent on defense.

OK, fine, have it your way. Why give up? Does it make you feel better? Whatever.

Comment From Guest

My question is if your recover a fumble in the 1 and roll back into the endzone is that not a saftey?

If they rule that the player's own momentum carries him into the end zone, it's a touchback. It was a close call.

Comment From John

The missed FG by Crosby have any impact on the way the rest of the half went? }

It didn't help. You're looking to get to 7-3 there and you come up empty, right after a missed blitz pickup forced a third-down throwaway. It was just the start of a lot of things going wrong.

Comment From Anthony From Cherry Hill NJ

Will the Packers start blitzing Ryan on every play

He may not be throwing much in the second half. They're going to have to stop the run on first and second down, then get after him on third.

Comment From Kellen

Everyone here is upset and most are saying game over, I'll continue to watch

Me, too. It's been a fun ride. Why get off before you have to? No reason to give up. These Packers won't. They may not win, but they aren't giving up.

Comment From Daniel

Seems like Nelson is the only one Rodgers is looking at today. Nothing from Adams or Cook to make note of.

Adams and Cook each have one catch. Jordy is getting open, so why not go to him? He can't drop that one over the middle, though.

Comment From Agus

big let down......your thoughts?

All the momentum of the last eight games didn't mean much. The Falcons are really, really good, and the Packers can't play like this and beat the worst team in the league, let alone one of the best.

Comment From Luis

We're not doing anything defensively to pressure Matt Ryan that has worked. What should capers do in situations like these?

There are only so many things you can call. The Falcons are blocking everyone, picking everything up. Give them credit. Their pass protection has been superior to GB's today.

Comment From Parvati

We need Matthews, Peppers, Daniels, And Haha to take over on D

Packers just need someone, anyone, to make a play on D.

Comment From Guest

The offense has missed all kinds of opportunities too and been uncharacteristic in its play - on one play Aaron fell down in a small trip up for a big loss when normally he gets away

Yes, another example. How many times has he stepped out of that? Not today, for whatever reason. OK, here comes kickoff. Gotta go.

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