On to the Next One: The Atlanta Falcons (edited 1/13)

A look back to Week 12, as well as Saturday's "Keys to the Game".


Week 12

If you forgot already, the Packers lost a tight game, 20-17, in the Georgia Dome back in week 12.  The offense just didn't look right in that game.  Why? They had no running game!  They totaled 77 rushing yards, and 51 of those came from Aaron Rodgers.  Brandon Jackson took 10 carries for only 26 yards.  The passing game was much less effective without a threat on the ground, and it showed as they only put up 17 points.

But it wasn't just about the offense.  The Pack tied it up at 17 with :56 seconds remaining in the game, and somehow the Falcons kicked a game-winning field goal.  It was because the special teams gave up a long return plus a 15 yard facemask penalty, allowing the Falcons to start the drive at the Packers 49.  That's right, the Falcons started their game-winning drive in Packers' territory.  The special teams will need to play better this time around.

James Starks may not run off 123 yards like he did last Sunday, but he will run well enough to set up the play-action.  Brandon Jackson will be of use in the screen game, but he won't get more than 5 carries (a good thing).  Nothing against Jax, but he can't run close to the way Starks does.  We should be able to win this one if we get the running game going early and often, and the special teams plays solid.

Keys to the Game
  • Win the Field Position Battle- the defense has been great.  The only time the other team scores a TD is when opponent has great field position because of a special teams gaffe or a turnover. 
  • Hit Matt Ryan- not every play will someone sack Matt Ryan.  Ryan may only get sacked twice on the day.  But the key for the defense is to knock him down right after he throws it without getting late hit penalties.  If you knock him to the turf plenty of times, he will be thinking so much about the pass rush that he won't throw the ball on time.
  • YAC- The recievers need to help out Rodgers by not only catching the ball, but then running with it. Jennings is one of the best in the league at running after the catch, and Driver, Nelson, and Jones all have good open-field moves.  Same with the backs...Starks, Jackson and Kuhn might catch the ball behind the line of scrimmage, but they need to pick up some good blocks and get some good yards.
  • Turn the Falcons over- someone needs to make a big interception or fumble at some point in the game, preferably in the 2nd half.
  • Execute in the Red Zone- To beat the Falcons, you have to do this.  When you get in the red zone, you can't get nothing, or even 3 points isn't enough.  It'll be up to the running game and Rodgers' short passing game to get 6 whenever they get inside the 20.  Something that happened in week 12 that can never happen again is Rodgers fumbling on the goal line.  That was 7 points, or at the least 3 points if he holds to the ball.  And the Falcons won by 3.
  • Tackling- tackling Michael Turner isn't easy, but the Pack need to do it to win.  They haven't tackled well as of late, but Woodson, Matthews and Co. need to hit him low and bring him down.

Tell me what you think about my story.

In the comment section, add what you think are some "Keys to the Game".

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