Last season, Green Bay Packers fans were treated to two intense football games against the Atlanta Falcons. Both were losses for the Pack (one more embarrassingly so than the other), but they helped beef up the scouting report for this time around. I took another look at who might be able to help the Packers catch a W in the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Davon House, CB
House and Quinten Rollins got the majority of the snaps at cornerback against the Seahawks logging 49 and 46, respectively, with Damarious Randall close behind. It will be difficult to determine which corner will handle the majority of snaps covering All-Pro receiver Julio Jones. Jones is known to roam all over the formation for the Falcons, but whoever does must contain him better than the Packers did last season.
Last week, Jones only tallied 5 targets against the Chicago Bears, but turned that into 4 catches for 66 yards. The Falcons may want to give their #1 target a lot more looks if they want to look like a more convincing offense.
House, meanwhile, had a great cornerback grade last week. He owes Mike Daniels a stack of Dragon Ball Z blu-rays for getting in Russell Wilson’s face while House almost got burnt for 6.
Kyle Murphy, RT
With Bryan Bulaga possibly being out another week with the flu, it’ll be up to Murphy to hold down the right tackle spot for the Packers’ offense. Vic Beasley does a lot of his work from the weak side, but if Bakhtiari plays, they may move him to line up Beasley against the second-year Murphy and see if he holds up as well as he did against Seattle. The Packers brought up lineman Adam Pankey to the 53-man roster, which suggests that the Packers o-line depth could still be pretty shallow if Bakhtiari and/or Bulaga miss Week 2.
Nick Perry, ROLB
Back to defense, because overall the defense needs to step up in a big way here against Atlanta. The last two match-ups against the Falcons saw Aaron Rodgers going a combined 55/83, 7 TD’s with 1 pick, and an additional 10 rushes for 106 yards. I say all that to say: it’s not the offense.
Perry and Daniels were dominant against the Seahawks’ offensive line in Week 1, but the Falcons will prove to be a stronger contest. They also have a solid running game to take pressure off Matt Ryan. If this turns into an air raid, then Nick Perry will be key to getting after the QB. Let’s hope he can perform better than last year’s performances against the Falcons, when he did not record a sack in either game.