Packers make up for missing pieces to notch fourth straight win

Green Bay will need bye week to heal up

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QB Aaron Rodgers and RB Aaron Jones celebrate a touchdown in the Packers' 30-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

GREEN BAY – The missing pieces don't seem to matter.

At least they didn't on Monday night against a winless Atlanta Falcons team that was pretty banged up in its own right.

The Packers' offense slowed down a tad without top receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, but not much. Aaron Rodgers & Co. still produced four touchdowns via the running backs and tight ends to post a 30-16 victory for a 4-0 record at the bye week.

"I like where we're at, I really do," Rodgers said. "I like the diversity in our approach.

"Obviously we had to do some different things without Davante, without Allen and without Marcedes (Lewis), but I thought we had a nice plan and we executed really well. Had a number of guys who stepped up and played really well."

First and foremost was tight end Robert Tonyan, whose six catches for 98 yards and three touchdowns were all career bests.

Next came Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams each getting 100 yards from scrimmage, but in different ways. Jones had 71 on the ground plus 40 through the air and a TD, while Williams had career highs with eight catches for 95 yards, plus 10 yards rushing.

"Between those two guys and Robert, that was a pretty complete game by those guys," Rodgers said.

The quarterback kept things pretty efficient, too, with just six incomplete passes (27-of-33) compared to four TD passes in throwing for 327 yards and a 147.5 passer rating.

The only real hiccup on offense was getting stuffed on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the first quarter, which Head Coach Matt LaFleur blamed on himself for a bad play call, or the Packers would have been approaching 40 points once again.

"The creativity and the aggressive nature has been really good," Rodgers said. "We've known when to push, when to pull back."

The only time the game seemed in the balance was after Atlanta's goal-line stand. It prevented the Packers from going up 14-0, and the Falcons responded by driving the length of the field on a monstrous 20-play possession.

But Green Bay's defense held at the 5-yard line to force a field goal, and after the Packers got their second touchdown – Tonyan's first of three – on the ensuing drive, Green Bay maintained at least a two-score lead the rest of the game.

"Anytime we're up two possessions, that's a good spot to be in," LaFleur said. "This was a total team win, because I think our defense had a lot of great moments tonight."

Lambeau Field hosted Monday Night Football between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 5, 2020.

Another big stop came with just under four minutes to play with the Falcons in position to get within a touchdown. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan (28-of-39, 285 yards, 92.4 rating) tried to hit Calvin Ridley at the goal line on fourth-and-10 from the Green Bay 26, but safety Adrian Amos got there to break up the pass at the last possible moment.

"That was big," said Za'Darius Smith, who was credited with three of the defense's four sacks. "Double-A is an impact player for us. He brought it in a clutch situation."

Ridley was held without a reception, while fellow Falcons receiver Julio Jones did not return for the second half due to a hamstring injury. Atlanta came into the game down three of its top four defensive backs and lost another safety to injury along the way.

The Packers, already without Kenny Clark and Rashan Gary on defense, had several defenders depart, including cornerbacks Chandon Sullivan (concussion) and Kevin King (quad), plus linebacker Krys Barnes (shoulder). Tight end Josiah Deguara (knee) also left the game late.

Fortunately, Green Bay has its bye week to heal up. Because while it's impressive the team has kept rolling despite the injuries, constantly compensating for missing players isn't ideal in the long term.

"We were down a couple guys but we had guys step up," LaFleur said. "And that's what we want to see, because no matter who's out there, the standards never change. We expect to do well and we expect to win.

"It was a good team win."

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