Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons
It’s not about either defense. It’s not about the estimated MVP Matt Ryan and his great offense designed by Kyle Shanahan. It’s not about Dan Quinn or Mike McCarthy. It’s also not about the Packers injuries at WR. It’s about one man and one man only: Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has been playing a season we have never seen before. The WRs he is playing with don’t matter at all. They weren’t any good all season long. The media and 99% of the world says that Rodgers has had a bad first half this year. Tell those guys: ‘Please go back and watch the games’. He hasn’t been playing bad. He had one off-game against the Giants. Otherwise it was pretty easy: The offensive line had injuries and Josh Sitton went to the Bears. They started playing consistently together at some point during the season. The Packers’ receivers have been running vertical routes and sometimes couldn’t beat any defensive back in the league. They struggled to catch precisely thrown balls. Davante Adams alone dropped 6 (!) perfectly thrown touchdown passes. Mike McCarthy completely struggles to adjust his route combinations to the personnel he is working with. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s about one man and one man only: Aaron Rodgers.
Did his supporting cast matter against a top-5 passing defense in the wild card round? Not at all. Even Jordy Nelson’s injury wasn’t a downgrade. He picked the Giants apart. He picked the Cowboys apart. Now he faces a worse defense than the last two. A defense that cannot stop the run at all and let opponents convert 70% of their red zone attempts into touchdowns, good for 31st in the league. We can debate the Falcons offense but there really isn’t anything to debate. It’s a great offense playing against weak Packers defense. But in my opinion this game is gonna be decided by red zone efficiency and QB’s decision-making in key situations. Gotta give the Packers the edge.
RUN THE TABLE: what a great storyline this would be. Rodgers said it and they did it. Packers are going to Houston but I will gladly take the points. I also believe that there is value on the under. Everyone expects a shootout but if the defenses get some key red zone stops, this game could easily stay under 60. Final Score Prediction: Packers win 33-27.