Falcons To Rise To Occasion Against Packers

The Atlanta Falcons open the doors to their new home the Mercedes-Benz Stadium against the Green Bay Packers in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game on Sunday Night Football.

Atlanta would have dreamed of hosting the first game of the campaign at their new ground by unveiling a Super Bowl banner. However, their defeat to the New England Patriots in the Vince Lombardi trophy game prevented that scenario.

Dan Quinn’s men were able to put their woes from the end of last season behind them in their opener. The Falcons produced a fine stand with the game on the line, denying the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field to secure the victory.

Quarterback Matt Ryan and his offense were not at their fluent best against the Bears. However, they managed to up the ante in the second half to put 23 points on the board. The defense rose to the occasion where they failed against Tom Brady to start the season on the right note.

The challenge will become greater this week as Aaron Rodgers arrives in Atlanta. Green Bay were extremely impressive in their win over the Seattle Seahawks as their defense dominated Russell Wilson.

The Packers had a game to forget on their last trip to face the Falcons. The defense, especially the secondary, was overmatched by Ryan’s offense, allowing Atlanta to advance with ease. Revenge will be on the minds of the Packers, who will be determined to spoil the party on Sunday night.

We’ll now break down both sides and the betting odds for the contest.

Atlanta Falcons

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons could not have afforded to suffer a defeat in the same manner as their Super Bowl loss in their opener. After building a lead in the contest, Quinn and his side would have had flashbacks to their defeat at NRG Stadium as Mike Glennon led the Bears downfield last in the game.

However, on this occasion, Brooks Reed made the play on fourth down to secure the win. Jordan Howard could have broken Atlanta’s hearts had he broken the play on the previous down. Fortune was on the side of the NFC South outfit as they held out for the victory.

Ryan was not in full flow against the Bears, although he still managed to throw for 321 yards. Julio Jones was also far from his best, notching just four receptions for 66 yards. Jones dominated the Packers in the NFC Championship game last season with a 180-yard two touchdown performance.

The 28-year-old will be keen to get back to his best form and the sight of Green Bay and their suspect secondary will be welcomed by the All-Pro.

Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian had a solid start to his tenure, but will want see the reigning MVP and Jones connect with regularity on Sunday. The contest could be a shootout therefore Ryan will have to have good rhythm with his other weapons, including Austin Hooper and Mohamed Sanu.

Reed’s game-saving sack of Glennon could be a vital aspect of the Falcons’ season later in the term. More importantly it proves they have playmakers outside of Vic Beasley. Reed notched two sacks, while Beasley and Brian Poole added one apiece.

Against Rodgers they will be tested and will need to produce another strong effort to keep the potent Packers’ offense at bay.

Green Bay Packers

Rodgers needs to fire against Atlanta

The Packers made a statement in their win over the Seahawks on the opening day. The criticism of the club in the past has been their soft nature of their play, especially on defense. However, Green Bay physically dominated Seattle’s offensive line, putting Wilson under constant duress.

Defensive end Mike Daniels put in an outstanding performance and was a constant presence in the backfield. He and Nick Perry combined for three sacks of Wilson, while the rest of the defensive line disrupted the visitors’ running game.

Green Bay is in dire need of defensive stars outside of Clay Matthews to match the power the playmakers on their offense. Should the duo continue to shine throughout the rest of the term, the Packers may have the balanced team they have been craving since their last Super Bowl win.

Their secondary will face tougher challenges ahead, although they held up well enough in the opener. For the main part it’s the same players that struggled immensely last season. Although their display was encouraging the acid test will come against Ryan and the Falcons, who dismantled them in the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome.

Rodgers was not at his best in the win over Seattle. He threw an interception that should have been a pick-six. Only a controversial call from the officials prevented the score, which infuriated the quarterback. He completed 28 out of his 42 passes, but was only able to put 17 points on the board, six of which were helped by a Wilson fumble on his five-yard line.

The offense will click into gear over the course of the season, but he cannot afford to be off the pace against teams of similar quality.

Betting Options

The two sides faced off twice last season at the Georgia Dome, with the Falcons emerging victorious on both occasions.

Atlanta triumphed first in a narrow win in week eight of the campaign, edging out the Packers by a point. Sanu scored a touchdown with 36 seconds remaining to clinch the victory.

The NFC Championship game was a complete contrast as the Falcons hammered the Packers, exposing their weaknesses in the secondary.

Atlanta will be fired up for the contest as they aim to start life in their new stadium in perfect fashion. Quinn’s men will be confident after their hard-fought win over the Bears on the road.

Last season they established themselves as one of the major powers in the NFC. Knocking off another leading outfit in the term with reaffirm their standing in the Conference and prove that once again they’re in it for the long haul.

Therefore backing the Falcons at odds of -155   with TopBet is a solid bet to take.  Quinn’s men are also decent value to cover a -4.5 spread at odds of +135   at Winner Sports.

Atlanta scored 44 and 33 points in the two meetings last season, backing them to score over 31 at +145   with Ladbrokes should also be considered.

Tips Summary

Atlanta Falcons To Beat Green Bay Packers
Sunday 17th September 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 18th September 2017 (01:30 BST)
Odds: -155

Atlanta Falcons To Cover -4.5 Spread
Sunday 17th September 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 18th September 2017 (01:30 BST)
Odds: +135

Atlanta Falcons To Score Over 31 Points
Sunday 17th September 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 18th September 2017 (01:30 BST)
Odds: +145