The Falcons started out with the ball and marched down the field 80 yards for a touchdown. After Ryan Grant fumbled on their first drive, the Falcons drove another 60 yards again for another touchdown. The big difference after those first two drives was that NT B.J. Raji was moved off the right defensive end spot and played more at nose tackle. I wasn't tracking plays, but I saw a lot more of DE C.J. Wilson instead of DE Ryan Pickett as the game went on. Whatever the reason, the Packers did a lot better job of holding the running lanes against RB Michael Turner and putting pressure on QB Matt Ryan. After the Falcons converted their first five 3rd down attempts, they failed to convert on their final six tries.
LT Marshall Newhouse and RT Derek Sherrod. After LT Chad Clifton left with a serious hamstring injury, Newhouse moved from right to left and rookie 1st rounder Sherrod played on the right. The Packers had problems in pass protection, LG T.J. Lang had a bad game against DT Corey Peters and even RG Josh Sitton had some struggles. Sherrod lined up against DE Ray Edwards who was largely quiet except for a late sack, and played well. Newhouse and C Scott Wells were the best lineman, and I don't recall either playing blowing a play.
WR Roddy White vs. CB Tramon Williams. White caught their first TD on a busted coverage (I've no idea where CB Charles Woodson was running to on that play) but mostly White had a quiet night as he struggled with a thigh injury. Williams wasn't his best either as his coverage is softer while he nurses a bruised shoulder. The injured players largely held each other in check.
With TE Jermichael Finley dropping a few passes, QB Aaron Rodgers (who had his usual monster game) got WR James Jones involved on a deep 70 yard touchdown bomb to take their first lead. Their second touchdown on an amazing catch-and-run by WR Greg Jennings put them up by eight points. They didn't run the ball a lot because the Falcons were biting so hard on the play action. They probably wouldn't have had much success on the ground under those circumstances anyway. I'd think against the Packers you'd be trying to invite them to run.
It didn't show up on the stat sheet but I was really impressed with how CB Sam Shields took WR Julio Jones out of the game. They had some success throwing to TE Tony Gonzalez, but they really needed Jones with White hobbled. Speaking of Gonzalez, S Charlie Peprah has struggled as the replacement for Nick Collins, but he made an outstanding tip ball to himself on a pass intended for Gonzalez that he intercepted. It was another great game for LB Desmond Bishop, who made plays in the backfield and also recorded the team's lone sack.
Who was the Packers game MVP in their win over the Falcons?
Aaron Rodgers (902 votes)
Greg Jennings (29 votes)
James Jones (143 votes)
Charlie Peprah (19 votes)
Desmond Bishop (39 votes)
1132 total votes