One of the biggest keys to Sunday's NFC Championship Game will be winning the turnover battle. And as anyone who has watched a Dom Capers defense knows, his teams force turnovers by pressuring the quarterback. This week, with the Green Bay Packers' secondary still in shambles and facing the NFL's top scoring offense, pressuring Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will be even more critical than usual.
That task will in large part fall to outside linebackers Julius Peppers and Nick Perry.
The Packers' top two pass-rushers have combined for 20.5 sacks this season (including the playoffs), and each has a sack since the postseason began. Peppers sacked Ryan once during the teams' week 8 meeting, but the Packers as a whole will need to apply more than five hits to him if they hope to contain him.
Both Perry and Peppers are key players discussed in today's Cheese Curds, as you'll see below.
Club hasn't been a pain for Nick Perry | Packers.com
Perry has four sacks in his last four games since returning with the club on, and he says that wearing it has forced him to work on his technique with his footwork and his other hand.
Julius Peppers doesn't want Packers Super Bowl run to be about him - ESPN
Though Julius Peppers downplays any "win one for Julius" sentiment, the Packers would love to get the veteran pass-rusher his first Super Bowl win. If they do, it would be much like 2010 when they finally won one for Charles Woodson and Donald Driver.
Ranking all 32 NFL defensive front-sevens | PFF
The Packers slot in at 9th overall here, thanks to strong performances from every defensive lineman and outside linebacker, save for Clay Matthews.
Role Players take Center Stage for Packers | Packersnews.com
You can call Micah Hyde and Joe Thomas role players, but their role has been that of a starter in recent weeks and they will probably both play nearly every snap against Atlanta barring injury.
Green and Bold: Shootout! | Cheesehead TV
Hearing Aaron Rodgers scream "SHOOTOUT" and "I AM GOLTHAR THE TERRIBLE! WHAT HAVE I TO FEAR FROM ROME?" just might make your day.
Trubisky climbs to third in PFF's 2017 Mock Draft | PFF
This mock draft has the Packers taking Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook with the 30th pick in the draft, one slot behind Washington's John Ross. Westbrook is slightly built (estimated at 5'11", 175) but has 4.4-flat speed and is a well-developed route runner.