In an earlier edition of Cheese Curds this week, we discussed how the Green Bay Packers will need to get big performances from Nick Perry and Julius Peppers this week as pass-rushers. With the Atlanta Falcons possessing a big-play offense with an excellent quarterback, moving him off his spot in the pocket will be a critical factor.
However, one player whose contributions in the pass rush are constantly undersold is Mike Daniels. The defensive tackle ranked fourth on the team in sacks this year with 4, but his interior push is essential to an effective rush overall. This week, Daniels should be licking his chops about a matchup that heavily favors him against his likely opponent on the Falcons' offensive line.
While Daniels is going to work in the trenches, the Packers' secondary will need to figure out a way to stick with the Falcons' receivers. That has been easier said than done this year, and it will be a massive challenge, especially considering Green Bay could have two undrafted free agents (one rookie and one second-year player) in the starting lineup. We will be watching Kentrell Brice and LaDarius Gunter closely on Sunday as the game progresses.
Can the Green Bay D get pressure on Matt Ryan? | PFF
Here's a reason to think that they can - Mike Daniels will be matched up for much of the game against Falcons RG Chris Chester, who allowed the most pressures of any guard in the NFL this season.
Brice hopes to learn from rookie mistakes | Packersnews.com
Safety Kentrell Brice had an interception slip right through his hands on Sunday, a play that he vows to make next time. He was in perfect position and coverage, but just "didn't get a good squeeze on it." Still, he has been a big role player for the Packers all season and could be in the starting lineup if Morgan Burnett's injury keeps him out on Sunday.
Falcons built the one offense that can keep pace with the Packers - SBNation.com
Atlanta is in its second year under OC Kyle Shanahan, and that familiarity with his system is one of many reasons that they have the best scoring offense in the NFL.
What You Might've Missed: Fancy footwork and clandestine communication | Packers.com
The Packers' route-running was exemplary on Sunday in Dallas, as several receivers were able to get separation for big plays.
NFL conference championship games referee scouting report - NFL Nation- ESPN
Expect fewer flags in Packers-Falcons, as referee Bill Vinovich called the fewest penalties in the NFL. Terry McAulay, who is working Steelers-Patriots, threw the second-most flags all year.
Clutch Coaching rankings - Bill Barnwell stacks up final four of NFL 2016 playoffs | ESPN.com
This isn't a good look for Mike McCarthy, as Barnwell roundly criticizes his actions at the end of several recent playoff games - including last Sunday in Dallas.
‘Madden’ simulation: 40 Matt Ryan clones vs. 40 Aaron Rodgers clones - SBNation.com
Here you go - CONCLUSIVE, INARGUABLE proof that Aaron Rodgers should be the MVP instead of Matt Ryan.