Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 22, Falcons 21

Andrew Quarless had a big day against the Falcons, and now the Packers are eyeing first place in the NFC North.

Andrew Quarless had a big day against the Falcons, and now the Packers are eyeing first place in the NFC North.

Maybe the Green Bay Packers didn’t save their season and keep themselves in the playoff hunt Sunday with a win over the Atlanta Falcons, but maybe they did.

Along with the Packers’ 22-21 win came a Philadelphia snowstorm and a Detroit Lions loss, which puts Green Bay only a half-game behind the Lions for first place in the NFC North. And while the Packers are certainly happy they were able to get a win without Aaron Rodgers, the possibility remains that the Packers’ quarterback will be ready to play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

If Rodgers is back for the team’s final three games, the Packers could win out (at DAL, vs. PIT, at CHI) and squeak into the playoffs. That’s assuming the Lions (vs. BAL, vs. NYG, at MIN) lose one more game, which wouldn’t be the most shocking thing in the world.

But, once again, it will probably be a late-week decision on Rodgers, and the playoffs are still a long way away.

Now, after winning Dec. 8 for the first time since Oct. 27, the Packers are 1-4-1 since Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone, leaving them at 6-6-1 on the season. And it took everything the Packers had on both sides of the ball.

With seven of Atlanta’s 21 points coming on a Sean Weatherspoon pick-six before halftime, the Packers’ defense tightened up and allowed just 14 points on the afternoon, thanks to a second-half shutout. The Falcons put together a methodical 78-yard drive to tie the score at seven, but their only other scoring drive was set up by a Matt Flynn fumble deep in Packers territory.

Flynn and the offense turned in a much-improved performance after last week’s stinker, but the defense rose to the occasion and powered the Packers to a much-needed win.

Clearly, Jerron McMillian was the only problem with the Packers’ defense.

Game Balls

Matt Flynn

Coming into the game having given up at least 27 points in their last six games, many expected the Packers would need to light up the scoreboard in order to get past the Falcons. That wasn’t the case, but Flynn and the offense still mustered up 22 points and earned their sixth victory in the process. Flynn made some poor throws, but his lone interception came on a (that-kind-of) ‘WOW’ play, and he was efficient with the football throughout the day. Quite the difference from the debacle on Thanksgiving.

Eddie Lacy

The box score won’t blow you away (62 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries), but Lacy shook off a rolled ankle and provided the Packers’ offense with some consistency. Despite having missed two games (save for one carry against Washington), Lacy is now just 113 rushing yards shy of 1,000 on the season. He’s probably the Packers’ MVP up to this point of the season, and he very well may be the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Andrew Quarless

It may not be saying overly much for a starting tight end in the NFL, as Quarless currently is, but he turned in a career day with six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. The Packers’ haven’t gotten that kind of production from the tight end position since Jermichael Finley was forced out of the game Oct. 13 against the Cleveland Browns.

Dom Capers

Say what you will about Capers, but he’s certainly deserving of some credit for Sunday’s performance. On top of holding the Falcons scoreless in the second half, one of the Falcons’ two scoring drives was on a 13-yard drive set up by a Matt Flynn fumble in the second quarter. The defense played better on Sunday with its back against the wall.

Lame Calls

Paul Worrilow’s foot

Are you kidding me? Shades of the Lance Briggs’ interception off Donald Driver’s foot in the 2011 NFC Championship Game. It was an unlikely, albeit momentum-changing play right before halftime. It would be the Falcons’ final score of the day.

Dirty birds

Does A.J. Hawk have an all-time great football name, especially for a linebacker? Yes. Is he a plays-every-Sunday-type throwback? Yes. But is Hawk an overly emotional player, at least on the field? Absolutely not. But after a Falcons lineman seemed to dive at Hawk’s knees late in Sunday’s game, the usually even-keeled linebacker lost his temper. This is the same offensive line that has been called out by B.J. Raji, Giants defensive end Justin Tuck and others for being dirty. It certainly seem like that’s the case.

Boo birds

If you’re going to go to a game to boo your team, don’t go to the game. It sort of defeats the home-field advantage, doesn’t it? You know, when the home team’s “fans” boo the team they supposedly support on their home field. Booing is something you shake your head at when other fan bases do it. It’s just not a good look.


Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.


116 Responses to “Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 22, Falcons 21”

  1. Big T says:

    Jolly, Jolly, Jolly, Jolly, the man is a one person wrecking crew. I bet TT is trying to work a trade as we speak. We can’t have people playing that hard damnit, strike him from the team says TT…Gimmee some more of them Marshall Newhouses’ now them there boys can plays some footballs…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  2. tim says:

    Be nice big T. TT & MM brought jolly in when lots of us had written him off as a lost case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Dobber says:

      They had nothing to lose with him, and you have to feel good about a guy who has paid his debt and has turned things around in his life.

      I think he’s honestly grateful for this chance and he’s making the most of it. Many of us will never be in that kind of position to know what it’s really like.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Since '61 says:

    For all the criticism of TT and MM no one gives them props for bringing Jolly back. Jolly has had a big impact in this team this year and TT and MM deserve credit for him being back here. Also MM gets some props for sticking with Crosby. So far, he has bounced back very well this season and he was big for us yesterday in difficult conditions. I realize that yesterday’s game was against Atlanta but you have to play who’s on your schedule and you have to win. If the Packers won their next three games (with or without Rodgers)exactly as they won yesterday, I know that I won’t complain about it. Just win baby. Thanks, Since ’61

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. tim says:

    Jolly’s return and good play has been a bonus, and an inspirational story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. WKUPackFan says:

    Why aren’t we talking more about an 18 play, 90 yard drive taking 9:07 off the clock on the first possession? A huge positive.

    Just watched Chicago score at will against Dallas. The Dallas defense is an absolute sieve. If GB’s D can put two good games together this next game can be won without AR.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Dobber says:

      Without Sean Lee, Dallas’s defense is right there with what the Packers have shown of late. So long as he was in the game, they were able to track Forte and keep Chicago in striking distance. After he got hurt? Forte and Bush ran wild.

      No Sean Lee would be a real break for the Packers next week. No Sean Lee AND ARod under center? Our playoff hopes might ride on for another week…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. GBPDAN says:

    The Lambeau crowd is not known as a negative crowd, unlike Philadelphia and New York, and other cities, it takes a lot for the Packers crowd to boo. After watching most of this team underachieve the last 5 weeks without Rodgers, and after watching the bottom fall out in Detroit, the fans totally had the right to boo the 1st half of the Falcons game. It didn’t take long for the fans to start cheering again

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Dobber says:

      I’ve been to several games where the boo=birds came out…although few in a year that starts with a 2.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. tim says:

    I think if you buy a ticket, you have every right to express yourself when you see a poor performance. If I were there, I hope I would refrain, & understand that a talent gap due to injury is responsible for a lot of the poor play. At the same time however, there’s a lot of really bad play that can’t be just written off as a bunch of injury replcements that aren’t as good as the other guys. These guys (coaches & players) make a lot of money, and at a minimum owe the fans their best effort. Maybe a wake-up call through fan reaction is a good thing in some cases, whether its a player or coach not working to their ability. Feedback is an important thing to us all. Strong negative feedback only works for the short term, and doesn’t work if the players just don’t have ability to do better. But it could help if they do, and all else is failing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. tim says:

    Gbpdan brought up a really good thing about packer fans, they are eagerly waiting for a good performance to cheer & go crazy for. I would think that is way more motivating for coaches & players.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. […] Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 22, Falcons 21 […]

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  10. larry valdes says:

    I will move percy to right lb and matweus to the left and bliz romo as much as possible and please sit Jennings.

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  11. […] From one paragraph opinion pieces in post game articles […]

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  12. Mel says:

    I was at the game sunday and I boo this team. I paid $85 to go to this game I cheered yelled lost my voice for this team. MM had some shitty play calling as usual and players like BJ Raji were taking plays off. When I voice my opion on forums the team doesn’t care. When we booed the team at half-time players/ coaches took notice.. The second half was better. I love this team and I will voice my opnion with a boo if it is rightfully needed and Sunday was that time. IMO

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