The Packers and Falcons are both Super Bowl contenders again this year, but this early matchup will almost certainly have big implications for how the season unfolds.
Let’s have a look at the Packers vs. Falcons Week 2 Pick
You’re going to hear be hearing enough about this being the NFC Championship rematch and a “revenge” game for the Packers…snooze. You don’t need more of that narrative and won’t get it here (although it literally is a rematch of last year’s NFC Conference game (a lopsided win for the Falcs) and by definition a revenge set-up for Green Bay…but I digress). Oh yeah, and you’re also going to hear a lot about this being the first ever regular season game in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium (which does look beautiful). Moving along….
Neither team can be overly happy with their Week 1 performance, but both booked wins. Atlanta looked entirely pedestrian beating the Bears on the road and Green Bay scratched out a win vs. a very good Seattle team. No style points for either, but a bigger nod to Green Bay based on strength of opposition.
The Falcons offense will be better this week, playing on their home field rather than the messed up Soldier Field turf, but this isn’t last year’s version of the Packer defense. That said, the quickness Atlanta enjoys at the skill positions, combined with a secondary that can still be leaky, and we should see Matt Ryan and co. have a solid day.
That said, look for the Packers to go after RG Wes Schweitzer, who was awful last week (both run blocking and pass blocking). He’ll matchup vs. Kenny Clark, which is a step down in class from Akiem Hicks of the Bears, but Clark will be a tough matchup and with extra pressure sent Schweitzer’s way, this could be an area of concern all game.
The Falcons pass rush is going to cause problems for opponents all year, particularly at home, as their linebackers and edge rushers are fast…but this Sunday night they’re facing Aaron Rodgers and a healthy receiving corps (which wasn’t the case last season). Rodgers is so skilled at reading the D, eluding pressure and getting the ball out, even when it looks like everything has gone to hell. He plays behind a great O-line and has as many weapons as Ryan enjoys.
The Falcons defense struggled last week with the basics, missing tackles (we’re looking at you rookie LB Duke Riley), not wrapping, blowing assignments with containment. A repeat won’t cut it vs. Green Bay.
The Falcon offense will have a better day this week. But so will Green Bay’s. I see the Pack being able to make plays, execute their offensive gameplan and spoil the opening celebration for the Falcons brand new stadium.
Packers vs. Falcons Week 2 Pick: I’m playing on the underdog Packers +3
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