Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on October 10, 2011, 12:07 AM EDT
Not so deep thoughts from Green Bay’s gutsiest win of the year, 25-14 over the Falcons:
1. This was the Packers’ most impressive win of the year because it was the ugliest. They trailed by 14 points for the first time in two seasons. They lost another starting tackle, Chad Clifton. They were forced to dramatically change their offensive gameplan in a tough road environment.
So what did the Packers do? Score 25 unanswered points to close out Atlanta. They proved they can win any style of game.
2. Atlanta scored touchdowns on their first two drives. Their next five drives combined to total 15 yards and five punts. Two interceptions by Matt Ryan then ended the game. This just isn’t a good Falcons offense, especially with Roddy White at less than 100%. It was easily Green Bay’s best defensive performance of the year.
3. The Falcons can no longer pound the ball with the lead. Michael Turner (16 carries for 56 yards) isn’t the same guy he used to be. The offensive line has struggled this year for Atlanta, and that’s true in pass protection as well.
4. Matt Ryan has been under pressure often, but that wasn’t really the case for most of Sunday night. He was erratic with his accuracy and didn’t give his teammates enough chances to make plays. There is no way around it; Ryan has been inefficient this year. He’s taken a step back, with the rest of the Falcons offense.
This was a great opportunity for Atlanta, and they blew it.
5. Aaron Rogers, you are ridiculous. 396 yards to 12 different receivers on 39 passes, with two touchdowns. He knew when to take big shots Sunday night, and he knew where the pressure was coming from. James Jones — the team’s No. 4 wideout — broke out with 140 yards, including a 70-yard score.
6. Perhaps the most impressive drive of the night was Green Bay’s 12-play, 66-yard, clock-killing field goal march to ice the game with Matty watching from the sideline. Like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, Rodgers has become a master of situational football.
7. The Falcons have already dropped two games back in the NFC South. Nothing about this 2011 team is exceptional. They have been consistently average.
8. It would be a shock if the Packers didn’t make it to November undefeated. They host the Rams, travel to Minnesota, and then get a bye week.
With all due respect to the Lions, no team looks like a safer bet for a playoff bye than Green Bay.