Falcons already tired of the Packers

According to ESPN the Atlanta Falcons are sick and tired of hearing about the Green Bay Packers and the great James Starks. It seems the Falcons are trying to spin themselves into underdogs. Weird.

The Packers haven’t said a word this week other than saying they thought they could have won the first meeting of these teams. I have not seen the overconfidence from the Packers I thought I saw last week.

So which team is most scared? I have to think the Falcons. Why are they so worried about Starks? Why are they so testy? It’s very interesting. The Falcons are going to try punch the Packers in the mouth early. If Rodgers stays upright, running game or not, I like the Packers chances to win this one in the end.

I don’t think Starks will be much of of factor in this game, no Packers’ running back has had two good games in a row this year, including Starks. I think Jackson or Kuhn will end up with more big plays than Starks in a game I think Rodgers will be the star of.

I’m getting more nervous as I write this, can’t wait for Saturday.

Let’s get it on!

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  • http://Orlando Mark

    Starks is well rested and shows more burst than Jackson or Kuhn. He doesn’t have to be great he just has to be a threat the Falcons are forced to respect. That should help free up the passing game along with screens to Jackson. The Saints beat the Falcons by holding them to 75 yds. rushing. If we can do close to that we should win.

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      Thats the whole key to his running style, the burst. But he also can change direction better than Bjax and obviously Kuhn. If you were to go with the committee approach, I guess the production from these three would be as good as we’ve ever had here. I can’t think of many combo RB tandums here. Only Hornung/Taylor-Anderson/Grabowski, and maybe Huckleby/Ivery come to mind. A lot to ask of a rookie with only half a season behind him. Shoot, we have not had very many good RBs total, but we’ve covered that issue before.

      • Reid

        Levens/Bennett?

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        Yeah, good point, only a couple of years together but you can’t take away those Super Bowls.

      • Steve Cheez

        Huckleby/Ivery?

        • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

          I guess I remember them because they were together for about 5-6 years; Huck was just a relief guy. Eddie Lee was one of our better RBs.

          • Lew

            Dude, are you really implying this is the 3rd best rb combo in history? Really?

      • UN57

        Brockington/Lane second only to Taylor/Hornung

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      Please enlighten us dude, Lew, who would be your #3 tandem? All we know for sure is that you think Gonzalez IS one of the top receivers in the league with 650yds.

  • http://www.scotrstone.com Scot

    Starks must hang on to the ball. Yeah, I know the Falcons are saying they’re sick and tired of hearing about Starks and how the Packers are going to beat them. These words aren’t coming from the Packers, though. Just the media trying to spin things up. The Packers haven’t said a damn thing. It’s like the Falcons are looking for ways to spin themselves up for the game. Probably because they’re nervous and know we are very capable of beating them. I’m sick about hearing how the Falcons say how undefeatable they are at home. They are good at home, there’s no denying that. However, good teams find ways to win in hostile environments. If GB gets by Atlanta, Chicago fans will be foaming at the mouth.

  • Monty

    Matt Ryan is 19-2 at home as a starter. That says he takes care of the football. Michael Turner has fumbled once in over 400 carries. It wont be an easy game, plus there is Tony Gonzales to contend with. He busted our balls last game picking up the first downs etc. No this wont be an easy game, and if we do win, each preceeding game will only get harder.

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      I think the weather over there has interupted their prep for the game. The kind of stuff those guys are driving through to and from practice is foreign to them and the newness of it has to side track them. I’m not surprised by your stats, Monty, for an indoor team, and Gonzo is tough in the red zone like any TEs. The only exception I would take to your post is that I think this is a tougher game for us than the CHI will be. Chicago and the Bearse are not strange to us.

      • http://www.scotrstone.com Scot

        Maybe that winter storm they got blasted by is a good omen for us. :)

    • iccyfan

      Preceding or succeeding / subsequent? Frankly I agree with the preceding angle; in degree of difficulty, my pre-playoff personal rating system went 1) Eagles, 2) Saints, 3) Falcons and 4)Bears or Seahawks. I feel better about the likelihood of the Packers beating the Falcons than I did same time last week regarding the Eagles. If we get past the Falcons, the Bears are just a formality, and my gut feeling is that “Packers West” will beat the Bears before we get a chance to…

  • jimmyus333333

    LT, question for you. Do you think it is significant that Dimitroff can sign FAs like Turner and Gonzales?

    • iccyfan

      We had some lively discussion on that topic in the week leading up to the first Falcon game. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Packer fan who doesn’t wish we could acquire a veteran FA once in awhile. Unfortunately, the Falcons and Packers are two entirely different situations. Murphy and Ted have to work under a budget approved by a Board of Directors; when Dimitroff wants to do something outside his budget, all he has to do is get approval from his deep-pockets owner, Arthur Blank. Artie raises the prices on ready-to-install flooring and boom, John Abraham is the Falcons new defensive end! You say you want Tony Gonzalez? Get me the paint department on line three… ;) Of course I’m kidding…

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      I think its great, but significant no. Gonzo is only a shell of the KC leading receiver (only) for years and is now a journeyman TE. His forte is the red zone ’cause the one thing he still has is the hands. Turner, on the other hand, was gold who takes gang tackling but really lacks speed.
      How significant do you think Pickett, Williams, Woodson, and Jenkins are? I get your point but I think those who don’t think TT will deal are wrong. We have quite a few FA, waiver, and trade contributors, who I might add, have not broken the bank.

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        Damn, those who think he will NOT deal are wrong……!

        • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

          Oh, hell, never mind!

      • jimmyus333333

        Dom and his assistants raised their game. It will be interesting to see how they fair when Dom is gone.

        Signing the right ProBowl FA’s in the offseason do make a difference.

      • Lew

        are you drunk today Larry? “Gonzo is only a shell of the KC leading receiver (only) for years and is now a journeyman TE.”

        He’s had 153 receptions, approx 1500 yds and 12 td’s in 2 seasons with atl. Still clearly one of the top te’s in the game

    • jimmyus333333

      How did Wolf ever get the Reggie White deal done?

      • Kevin

        We had a guy with a#4 jersey on our team

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        Wolf made the gamble of his life and broke the bank. The rest of the DL FAs followed REGGIE. Then came the Rison, Howard types. Final piece was REGGIE talking Jackson out of retirement. Everyone wanted to play with REGGIE (the Pied Piper). Favre was a very good QB, REGGIE was the ultimate team guy. People tend to forget that BFs strength was his arm, guts, and ability to play with pain, not his locker room presence or brains. BF played with some mighty good WRs (like when Antonio caught the ball while on his back).
        REGGIE, on the other hand was a magnet and simply the best DE ever. 6-5, 305, speed, and able to leap over tall buildings.

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        And, don’t forget the phone call from God!

      • dave76

        You’re right LT. Reggie was one of the most respected team leaders on and off the field. Other players had such deep admiration for him, that’s what made Reggie a magnet for other NFL players. Brett was a wild mustang with alot of potential, that was about the extent of his attraction for Reggie.

  • mel e mel

    I think Atl is suffering from cabin fever. They have been off so long with nothing to do but talk and the media has nothing new to talk about. They have defense similar to Indy and NO. Quick guys built for speed rushing works great if you have a lead. Cannot stop the power game.

  • Reid

    We have to stop the run – Period. Exclamation point! Whatever. If Turner gets a lot of yards, we’re screwed because they will own time of possession and our offense won’t get in a rhythm.

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      Amen, brother! Ball game.

    • jimmyus333333

      Yeah…waiting on MM to chime in on how to do that since he’s now telling Dom what he needs to do better.

      • Reid

        Your posts are so skewed they’re worthless. Please give up.

      • dave76

        Jimmy 3333, you have made the critical mistake of letting a player become bigger than the team in your eyes. Obviously you have “Hero Worship” for Favre, but you you rather have the Packers lose so you can blame MM and TT for trading your hero. That is not a real Packer fan. If you are a Packer fan, prove it and quit crying about MM and TT. Hit the play button, buddy, your still on pause. This is Aaron Rodgers team now! Lol !

        • dave76

          you would, not you you

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        Brett and his sister look a lot alike!

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      Well, I don’t think I would congratulate Dom for all the ball stripping attempts v tackling scheme in the last game in ATL. Turner never should have had that much yardage.

  • Larry

    Seems we can deal with their passing game..under 200 yards a few weeks back…Bennett is the KEY. With that being said..do you start Pickett, Raji, Green and pass substitute Jenkins give his smallness at 305 (lol) or play Jenkins and substitute Green?

    Atl doesn’t get sacked much due to the quick reads and short passes. I’m guessing go BIG boys and bring in Jenkins on 3rd down to keep him fresh for the 4th qtr when they’ll need to catch up! He admitted to being gassed against the Eagles.

    • Packer’s Advocate

      Dom debuts his new defense he’s been working on, the 61 Monster, runs it a few series til it looks like Atlanta is starting to get an idea what to do w/it, then switches back to the stuff he’s been using all year. With Atlanta’s slow start and a Packer’s lead, he turns to CMIII and says “sick’em boy!!!!”.

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      I like it, Larry, a lot. Been watching a lot of clips of ATL this year on their web site. I’ll tell ya one thing, they are a lucky bunch – even more than the Bearse. Always a fumble, call, or stupidly thrown INT in their favor, not to mention the replay delays (reminds me of the NE trickery). A lot of games are settled on a balls bounce (ie, Underwood surrounded by 5 Eagles and pushed into the ball in coverage). Thats exactly the kind of breaks ATL has gotten all year. That trend stops Saturday…….! Pack is ready and chomping at the bit all week.

  • Pierre

    If Starks can get some significant runs early it will open up the GB passing game even more. He doesn’t need to get over a hundred yards to win this game; he does need to maintain ball security and not put it on the ground. Speaking of putting the ball on the ground, do you realize that if T. Williams spins the ball on the ground after the interception as a celebration and a Philly player jumps on it, then they’d have the winning touchdown! He intercepted and was not “downed”, the play was not over…he decides to run out of the endzone, like he’s not sure what to do…and then a couple of Packers take him to the ground around the ten yard line. Can you imagine the season ending with him dropping the ball to celebrate and Philly winning on a recovery???!!!

    • http://www.scotrstone.com Scot

      The other thing is, when Celek stepped out of bounds and then came back in to catch the two-point conversion, Tramon almost touched that ball when he leapt to delfect it. Had he touched it, Celek’s two-point conversion would’ve counted since he would be the second guy to touch the ball after he reestablished himself in the field of play. We were close to losing that game on a few counts. Tramon, of course, didn’t know Celek had stepped out of bounds on that play.

    • Steve Cheez

      Scary. That would put him in Yancey Thigpen territory.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    I’m thinking……….
    It would appear that the NFL may as well do away entirely w/replays for the visiting teams. We all know the networks set up their systems the same for every game. If delayed to an unuseable form, then why even have it???????????????????? Blind challenges for the visitors for every game, in every stadium, is the only fair thing at that point.

    Colledge’s holding penalty was as rinking dink as you can get!!! (make that the Packer’s can get, I still remember Sheild’s personal foul for his stiff arm, lol) But things even out I guess, cause the network isolated the play of Jones’ block on the TD screen that was supposably holding, I guess (I didn’t get to see it actually). Gee, they isolate any of Philly’s questionable blocking???

    Hats off to the O-line!!!! Not sure they had it in them. They are the key to any SB trip. Make no mistake, raising their play is the key. W/the Packer’s passing game and D, a 125 yd. back makes them almost unbeatable. Stark’s running style (pretty similar to Grant’s) seems to fit their blocking style. It’s on the O-line to block the team to the SB.

    Lastly, I’m trying to figure out who to root for should the Pack beat Atlanta……… I’m thinking a trip to Seattle is a little better weather-wise for the Pack and their passing game but if that 800 lb. underdog starts to feel it, they may be scary????? The Bears seem to have everything always fall their way and you know waht they say about “I’d rather be lucky than…….”

    • jimmyus333333

      RE:Replays….Something will need to get done. The offense holds all the cards when a replay can be challenged. I don’t think that is by design, but a consequence of how it is done.

      RE:Bears/Sea: This one is easy. Always root for the team the plays the Bears.

      • Steve Cheez

        But think how sweet it would be to beat them in the conference championship game.

  • Dan

    Packers need to fight like hell early. Falcons have had two weeks to prepare, their players are rested and hungry. Ideally, Packers get an early lead, but at a minimum stay within 7.
    If Packers stay close early, they are in good shape.
    Packers haven’t trailed by much the entire season. If they fall behind by more than a TD, I fear the o-line getting penalties and that the defense will forget to take care of their own responsibilities.

    This isn’t the Eagles who stumbled into the playoffs. Eagles didn’t look like a solid team down the stretch.

    On the positive side, Rodgers plays great in domes. Now that he’s seen the Falcons he should light them up. Also, Falcons fans are not nearly as vocal as many other teams. At this point, Falcons fans haven’t distracted teams playing in their stadium.

    Packers 34, Falcons 24.

    Go Pack Go

  • Packer’s Advocate

    For shits and giggles I thought I’d give “what if sports” a look. They have the Falcons winning 46.3% of the simulations and the Packers winning 53.7 of them. Average score of 20.4 for Atlanta and 21.8 points for Green Bay.

    Thought I’d run a couple w/Starks at RB and took Finley out of the line up, one pass happy and one balanced offense. Both have the Falcons winning. Pass happy Packers lose 20-17 and our balanced offense loses 27-21. For what ever it’s worth, cause they picked the Eagles last week…… after all.

    • jimmyus333333

      I tried it with the 2007 Pack vs 2010 Pack w/Finley and 2007 won 25 – 10.

      (The 2007 Pack lost to 2010 Atl, however).

      Like that site PA.

      • Packer’s Advocate

        Well, the Pack only lost by 3 in OT to a Giants team which beat an undefeated (18-0) N.E. team in the SB. Just may be 2007 was a fine-wine year for teams.
        REGGIE’S Packers may have won a couple/three SB’s had the timing just been a little different. (or if they had had a decent left tackle long before they finally found one)

        • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

          Shoot, they did it with REGGIE even past his prime.

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      jim3 how could anybody be interested in that junk. You know what the difference in those two teams are? Grant v Starks, slight adv to Grant if only because Starks still has to put two games together (or maybe the OL does). In any case pretty much the same OL with very slight edge to Tausch over Bulaga (debateable as time goes on). Give me Finley production over Lee any day. Ah, yes, the QBs. If its not a wash I’ll edge for Arod because the fumbles are an anomaly where the INTs weren’t. I’d say that right now Ryan and Masthay are a wash. You know whats left; 2007 had no Matthews and I say Tramon is better than Harris was and there was no Shields. None of the above even counts Capers’ 3-4/4-3 hybrid v Sanders 4-3. Sorry, it doesn’t wash that that team was better than this.

      • Rocky70

        “Jimmy 3 Shoes” is just grabbing at straws, as usual ….. My guess is he will disappear after the Pack destroys Atlanta or try to convince everyone that he’s been onboard all along ….. Maybe he’ll just change his ID like most do when they’ve been convincingly trounced …..

  • Pierre

    The Eagles won convincingly over the Falcons this season. Packers lost to Atlanta by a FG in a game that Rodgers fumbled going into the endzone. Turnovers are the only thing that will prevent the Packers from beating Atlanta. If the GB running backs go over 125 yards collectively then the Packers should win by at least a touchdown. Should be a great game!

    • http://www.scotrstone.com Scot

      Green Bay should look at that Atlanta/Philly game. Philly always seems to have Atlanta’s number. There has to be some stuff in there that can aid us.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    Tell ya what I see offensively. I fully expect Atlanta to take a few more kill shots this time around. Should those bombs be caught, it could prove fatal to the Packers in momentum and crowd participation. Should they land harmlessly and w/them being more of a three down offense, I expect those drives to stall and the Packers to take control of the game. The Packers offensively know they can pass all over these guys, and w/Starks now, will run a balanced offense and be tough to stop. Atlanta knows they will have to throw some deep stuff and more of it this time around to be where they want to be in this game. Defensively, they’ll shore up their pass defense a little giving a little more opportunity to Starks. Likewise, the Pack w/shore up the run D giving a little more opportunity for Atlanta’s passing game. Packers D is better. Packers will win if turnovers are close and so is the officiating.
    When I’m looking at a game to see who I think will win, I’m looking at two things. Does the team have to play well to win or does it have to play bad to lose. The Packers fit the second catagory. They’ve played all the top teams that are in the playoffs. Probably, woulda, coulda, shoulda beat them all, but they didn’t finish and kicked FG’s instead of getting TD’s. Three seasons ago they finished 6-10 but could have been 13-3 if they had won all those close games(needed to play well to win), last year the playoffs w/early exit and this year they’re looking at the SB even w/a team decimated w/injuries(needed to play bad to lose). I’d be very surprised if they’re not in the SB, so my pick for Saturday night is obviously the Pack at about what Dan predicts………. Pack 34, Falcons 24 sounds about right. Packers have to detonate the Atlanta bombs!!!! (though the reffing really does scare me. All the home teams have been pushing for a PI if the DB even breathed on the WR)

    • http://www.scotrstone.com Scot

      I don’t think Atlanta will get more than 14 points. And Green Bay will get 24 this time around.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Not drunk, Lew, re Gonzo only a shell of his prior self. He ranks about 20th in NFL receivers and should be ranked in the category due to the fact that he is the #2 receiver in ATL and was always the #1 in KC. Strictly in TEs this year he was only 4th, but he rarely, if ever blocks. Yeah, I think his production in ATL makes him a journeyman compared to his KC record. Last 10 yrs there he averaged 82 for 980 yds., like you said hes averaged 75 and 750 in ATL. Rarely, if ever, does he go long anymore doing his damage in the red zone. Any way you slice it I don’t think its much for a team with only 2 receivers. Hell, in KC he was the ONLY receiver; their 2nd leading receiver was always a RB. One thing you can rely on is that he will not drop a ball thrown his way and he was one of the best of all time.

    • http://www.scotrstone.com Scot

      Gonzales still wants a ring, and realizes this might be his best chance to get one. However, I think he will come up short thanks to the Pack. He will go the way of Marino and Kelly.

  • Rick

    Atlanta is the best in the NFC. They have the number one seed and are playing at home for a reason, the play very very good football. However we meet them and almost won.
    Advantage to GB is that our Defense has really been stingy in allowing points.

    Besides winning the turnover battle which seems to predict 87% of the games, having the offense convert on third downs and score seems to be the Packers key to victory this year.

  • Mel E Mel

    Look at the 2009 Playoff game With AZ and ATL. Old man Edgerin James got 73 yds on 16 carries. Atl was up 17-14 at halftime, and only scored 7 the rest of the game. Ryan made several mistakes. AZ totally shut down Turner and confused Ryan. I believe everyone knows the Packers D is better than any AZ ever had. I believe Bigbys style of play is more suited to this game.
    AZ was wise enough to realize that even with Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin they still needed to run on ATl which they did. Go Pack!

  • Dan

    After reading about Ryan’s numbers down the stretch, this game should be a blowout.
    Ryan’s numbers in the last 4 games were in the bottom 25% of the NFL QBs.

    Only way Packers lose this is if they beat themselves.

  • Jordan

    Does anybody remember Cullen Jenkins getting reps at LB early in the year? Thoughts on trotting out an old 4-3 line of Raji, Pickett, Green, and Jenkins to slow down Turner?

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      The problem last game was that the DL didn’t do any tackling. The LBs had 16, the DBs had 21, and the DL had 2-both Jenkins. When they did go 4-3 (rarely) it was Pickett, Raji, Green, and Wilson. I seem to remember Jenkins had the club on (?) but not sure. At any rate the DBs were ineffective because they either bounced off his thighs (Turner) or he carried them another couple of yards when gang tackled. That will change-no more going to just strip the ball by the little guys. I’m confident that that has been film studied and worked on this week.

      Ryan was 24/28 with no INTs in that game so I’ll bet we see some 5 man DL sets w/ a LB on the edge and the DTs trying to make a wedge for the middle to come through. Just a hunch.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    All I know is that w/a running game, the Pack looks alot more like the Pats and less like the Colts (we know where the Colts are). Atlanta couldn’t have been comfortable w/a 3 point win last time and I expect more deep throws and tries for big plays for more cushion this time around. Refs scare me………

  • dave76

    Turner will be hit much harder this time and his legs will be cut out from under him. Packer D, IMO, will hold him to under 80 yds. Don’t see him getting 110 again, but I DO see Starks getting 110 and the passing game will benefit from this. Packers win and are the story of perserverence entering the NFC championship game. Pack Attack!!!

  • http://www.scotrstone.com Scot

    I hope Mike Smith becomes the AFC’s Norv Turner/Marty Schittenheimer. His team can win a lot of games during the regular season, but chokes in the playoffs.

  • Larry

    I hope GB’s special teams shows up big this week as in big stops on KO’s and punts. 25-30 yard line without a fumble would be just fine when we field the ball. Nothing fancy…just hold the ball!!!
    Let Rodgers work the magic.

    GO PACK!

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      Field position, sustained drives, a couple of 20yd runs, and take the clock away from Ryan.
      It should happen…….!