Well what a difference a couple of weeks makes. Two weeks ago we were riding high and now two weeks later we are wondering just who might start this week for us. Well despite everything that has gone wrong there are a few glass half full things going on: first, we are still tied for first place, I know the division isn't stacked but first is first. Second, our defense has been playing very good all and all. I know it struggled against Dallas but besides that the defense has kept us in games or helped us win games (basically every game but dallas). We still aren't a bad team, but a win would help for sure. Alright on to the numbers:
Quarterbacks: Ryan vs Rodgers/Flynn: Well this is a tough one. If Rodgers is playing then the numbers say we have the upper hand, if not well you get the story. As for just overall, Rodgers still ranks ranks top ten in yards (8th), yards per game (10th), and TDs (T-7th). So despite struggles the last few games he still has the numbers on his side. If Flynn starts it is basically a clean slate, not that I needed to remind anyone of that. Matt Ryan has been a pleasant surprise for Atlanta so far this year (so is the 2-2 record). He has had the training wheels on still and his number show it. He has only thrown for 669 yards (167.2 per) for 2 tds and 2 ints. For anyone that has watched highlights will also know that both of his td passes have been for 60 plus so big plays have helped his numbers. This is really a toss up with the uncertainty of Rodgers. He plays: advantage us He doesn't: I'm going to say slight edge Atlanta or just a push.
Running Backs: Turner vs Grant: This isn't even a fair comparison, Atlanta is a more run oriented team and Turner had a huge game which helped his numbers. He leads the league in yards, yards per game, yards per carry, and Tds. He has struggled against good defenses though so we'll have to see what D shows up for Green Bay this weekend. As for Green Bays running backs, I think we are still waiting for that aspect of the game to show up. Grant has been struggling so far this year and Jackson has been no where to be seen. Here are the stats for Grant/Jackson: yards 186/93, yards per carry 3.4/5.2, yards per game 46.5/23.2, and tds 0/1. Needless to say, we've struggled on this aspect of the game. If the running game gets going, this team will be fine but until then its going to be a struggle. Advantage: Atlanta
WR/TE: White vs Jennings, Hartsock/Peelle vs Lee: Greg Jennings is working himself into that upper tier of Wide Recievers in the NFL. He is top 5 in yards (1st), receptions (5th), and yards per game (2nd). For Atlanta, Roddy White hasn been one of Ryan's favorite targets and the numbers show that. He has 18 receptions for 322 yards and that puts him at 74.5 yards per game. As for Tight Ends, neither team so far has used there TEs much this season. Donald Lee has only 11 receptions for 84 yards while the combo of Hartsock/Peelle have a combined 4 receptions for 44 yards. For Wideouts advantage: Green Bay. Tight Ends: Advantage: Green Bay (but not by very much).
Usually I throw another stat line in here but I think we'll stop this one after the core offensive players. I really think this is a turning game for the Packers, by no means a must win but a important game nevertheless. Winning against a team that is still learning its direction as a team at home is a must. You have to win these games and I truly feel Rodgers or no Rodgers we can. I feel the running game will finally make a showing and take the pressure off whoever is the qb and the defense will get to Matt Ryan and cause him some problems. In the end our Defense will dominate and give the offense good field position and some easy scores. Look for Mason Crosby to have a big day as well. Green Bay 24-10