Packers vs Falcons
In week 3 the Green Bay Packers got a gritty, statement win on the road against the Saints. Now in week 4, the Packers will entertain the Atlanta Falcons at home in Green Bay. Atlanta has started the season 0-3 with some crushing defeats. They seem to start fast only to blow big leads late. Now they will try to get that first win and save Coach Dan Quinn from being run out of town. Here is Know the Foe: Packers vs Falcons.
Wide Receivers Lead the Way
Despite the 0-3 start, the Falcons are very capable on offense of scoring in bunches. 35-year-old Matt Ryan is a seasoned vet and former MVP. He isn’t known as a mobile quarterback but he can sling the football around. Todd Gurley was an offseason addition to the Atlanta backfield. However, he has battled knee injuries over the years but he is still a respectable running back in this league. Gurley isn’t an explosive weapon but he is averaging 4 yards a carry so far this season with touchdowns. In limited touches, his backup Brian Hill has averaged 5.6 yards a carry with a long of 35 yards.
The Falcons’ biggest strength is at the top end of their wideouts. Julio Jones has been one of the best in the league though out his career. He is just a matchup nightmare for any defense. Not only is Jones is big, strong, and fast but he runs a full route tree and has good hands. His one knock is he has had nagging injuries and he missed last week. If he is back this week he’s a major concern for the Packers defense. Calvin Ridley has been solid through his young career but seems to have taken yet another step early on this season. He has been Atlanta’s biggest weapon so far this year and a thorn in opponents’ sides. Ridley is a big play waiting to happen with great route-running skills. He is averaging over 16 yards per catch with 4 touchdowns.
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Tight End Hayden Hurst was another free-agent addition this offseason. After losing Austin Hooper via free agency, Hurst has stepped in and not missed a beat. He is over 100 yards on the season with two endzone trips.
The offensive line of the Falcons is just ok at best. Jake Matthews is steady at left tackle. Nothing flashy or great but a solid NFL starter. Alex Mack was when of the best in his prime but is on the back end of his career. He still is a leader and a good player. Chris Lindstrom was a highly drafted player in ’19 but still has a ways to go to earn that pick. Injuries Kaleb McGary have forced Matt Gono into action at right tackle and I expect the Packers to exploit him. This line will have its hands full with the Packers pass rushers and Kenny Clark if he is back this week.
Simply put, this defense has been awful so far this season. Giving up close to 1,000 yards in the last 2 games they can’t seem to stop anyone. They will need some major work and effort to stop the Packers this Monday if they want to stop the bleeding.
The lone bright spot on the defensive line is Grady Jarrett. That dude is a hell of a football player in the middle of a bad defense. He already has 2.5 sacks on the season from his interior spot. The guy can get after the quarterback with explosive strength and speed. He has a non-stop motor that is also great against the run. He is easily the best defensive tackle Green Bay has faced this season. Takkarist McKinley and Dante Fowler are both high draft picks but really haven’t set the world on fire. At times both have flashed in the pass rush but neither has ever put it all together. Furthermore, both also can get swallowed up in the run game.
Back in Line
At linebacker, Deion Jones is another good player. He is on the smaller side but the athletic hybrid teams love. He can get sideline to sideline can able to match up on backs and tight ends. At only 25, he has played a lot of football and is a player the Packers have to account for on every play.
The cornerbacks are a below-average group the Packers should be able to pick on. Darqueze Dennard is an average NFL starter but just went on injured reserve. Meanwhile, Isaiah Oliver is a young player still fine-tuning his craft. The Safeties are both vets with a lot of snaps under their belts. Keanu Neal has been injury-prone, but he is a tone-setter. He will bring the lumber but with that, he can be burnt deep. Atlanta likes to deploy 3 safeties a lot. Ricardo Allen and Damontae Kazee are the other 2 that will be on the field often.
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– Jesse Hall is a writer for Full Press Coverage Packers. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @hall_jhall1212 Follow @FPCoverage and Facebook. – Kyle Senra is the managing editor for Full Press Coverage Packers. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @SenraSays Follow @FPC_Packers and Facebook.