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Cheese Curds, 9/18: Anatomy of a 4th-quarter collapse

How did the Packers blow a 12-point lead? Let’s examine.

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Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

It takes a lot of factors combining to blow a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of an NFL game. The Green Bay Packers did just that on Sunday, falling 25-24 to the Atlanta Falcons in week 2 after holding a 24-12 lead through 45 minutes of game time.

As with other collapses in the team’s recent-ish history, there were a number of factors that contributed to the loss. It was a full team effort, with the offense failing to pick up a single first down in the fourth quarter to the defense getting run out of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Still, there were a few specific moments, like Desmond Ridder’s touchdown on a read-option and some big 3rd and 4th-down conversions by the Falcons that stand out.

Before we move on and look ahead to the Packers’ home opener against the Saints next Sunday, let’s look back at how it all fell apart in Atlanta yesterday.

Rapid reaction: ‘It wasn’t good enough’ when it needed to be |
Jordan Love just wanted, and needed, to get a completion in the fourth quarter to get back in a rhythm. He couldn't, and didn't, and the Packers lost.

How the Packers suffered backbreaking 25-24 loss to Falcons - The Athletic ($)
How did it all happen? It starts with issues in the kicking game on the first drive, a dropped would-be pick-six, and then a poor run defense that Atlanta ran around and over all second half.

6 things that went wrong for Packers during fourth quarter collapse vs. Falcons | Packers Wire
If AJ Dillon doesn't trip over his own feet, maybe the Packers win. If Jordan Love uses the right word on a would-be QB sneak, maybe the Packers win. There are just too many maybes in this game, which should be a familiar feeling for fans who remember the 2008 season.

No Excuse, But Injuries Make Packers’ Loss to Falcons Excusable - Sports Illustrated
Missing Aaron Jones was surely the biggest blow, but not having Christian Watson, David Bakhtiari, and Elgton Jenkins (for most of the game) were all critical absences as well.

The first wild spotless giraffe is discovered at private preserve in Namibia : NPR
Everybody got really excited a few weeks ago when a spotless giraffe was born in Tennessee, with headlines saying it was the only one in the world. Now there's one in the wild too? What a buzzkill.