clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Packers vs. Falcons: A tale of two unknown teams

There’s a lot to gain for the winner of this matchup between two very similar teams.

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images

A young, unproven quarterback. A game-changer at running back. A young wide receiver, full of potential. A player who once returned a kick 105 yards for a touchdown. Of course, I am talking about the Green Bay Packers. I’m also talking about the Atlanta Falcons! For the first time since 2020, these two teams will face off this weekend, and boy do they look a lot different from the last time they met.

The most notable difference three years later is each team’s offense, currently led by 24-year-old quarterbacks prepared to start their first full NFL season. In 5 career games, Falcons QB Desmond Ridder has the same amount of TD passes as Packers QB Jordan Love (well, the number he had last week). The last time these two teams met, future Hall-of-Famer Aaron Rodgers threw 4 TD passes, and future Hall-of-Very-Gooder Matt Ryan threw for none, instead relying on running back Todd Gurley when the dink and dunk method failed to produce. The Packers had finished 13-3 the year prior, while the Falcons finished 7-9. Thus, the lopsided win by the Packers wasn’t too much of a surprise for fans.

The two teams have since rebuilt, or whatever Green Bay fans are calling it. While the new Packers roster finally has an actual game under its belt, the bad news is that it was against the Chicago Bears, and we have to wait until the Packers play a real team to know how good this offense can be. While the rebuilt Falcons finally have an actual game under their belt, the bad news is that it was against the Carolina Panthers and, wait—I’ve heard this one before.

With the statuses of WR Christian Watson and RB Aaron Jones uncertain, TE Luke Musgrave seems like he has the most potential to be the Packers’ X-factor this week, especially after a solid debut last weekend with 50 receiving yards. On the Falcons’ side, they’ve got TE Kyle Pitts and WR Drake London as weapons for Ridder, but the biggest name to watch for the home team is rookie RB Bijan Robinson. With 83 total yards and a receiving touchdown, he looks to be a tough task to handle for the Packers defense, who allowed the 8th most rushing yards last week, and who was middle of the pack in receiving yards allowed.

To be clear, no game is ever a guaranteed win in the NFL. We’ve seen the Packers lose plenty of games they were supposed to win, and win plenty of games in which they had no business being competitive. This is one of those games, however, that I just...can’t make a prediction. I feel extremely comfortable saying that the Packers are going to win, or maybe lose, or possibly tie. I certainly think they have the edge at QB, but every other position gets a big shrug from me. I just don’t know; there’s not a single outcome on Sunday that could surprise me. Let’s get weird with it.

Who is each team’s key to a 2-0 start?