8

December

Packers vs. Falcons – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 22 ATL 21

Packers TJ Lang hustling his ass off. on interception return - Atlanta.

TJ Lang hustling his ass off.

Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons:  2013 Game 13

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

GAME NOTES:

Evan Dietrich Smith is playing, which means the Packers can prevent the OL shuffle, which has not worked out well at all. Even better, Marshall Newhouse reported with flu symptoms, so Derek Sherrod will be the first tackle off the bench, if needed.

Matt Flynn get the call again at QB, despite a dismal performance last week against the Lions.

Snowing in Green Bay – perfect football weather and a great welcome for the 3-9 Falcons.

 

Today’s captains for the Packers: - James Jones, Clay Matthews and Jarrett Bush

 

Inactives for today’s game:

 

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
12 QB Aaron Rodgers
13 WR Chris Harper
22 RB Kahlil Bell
51 LB Nate Palmer
74 T Marshall Newhouse
98 DE C.J. Wilson
99 DE Jerel Worthy

10 QB Matt Flynn will start for Rodgers.

Atlanta Falcons
30 RB Josh Vaughn
36 S Kemal Ishmael
53 LB Omar Gaither
69 G Harland Gunn
74 T Terren Jones
77 T Sean Locklear
92 DT Travian Robertson

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Weather: Smells like Green Bay Packer football. Importance of the game is evident to us all.

Game plan for weather: You have to look at the whole picture. You have to look at the field – it was beat up a little after the Vikings game. the wind will be a factor.

EDS: Evan responded very well to the rehab. Everyone felt really good about his workout yesterday. he says he feels great and he’s ready to go.

Time off: Definitely helped. Our energy level is as high as it had been in quite some time. There’s a different energy about ourselves this week and it has to show up today,.

Flynn:  A liittle up and down this week in practice but I thought Friday was the best day he’s had since he’s been here.

Decline of Defense: Energy and finish is what we focused on. Schematically we’re fine. Frankly, we need to get off the damn block and tackle the football.

Atlanta: Good football team going through a lot of challenges. They’re playing some young guys. Frankly, I’m going to focus on our own football team and what we’re going through.

6

December

Packers vs. Falcons Week 14 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 14: Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 7-5 Green Bay Packers 24-20
There is a strong argument against the Packers here, but Green Bay is going up against the one team with a worse defense than them.  Atlanta, a dome team, will struggle in the cold and Green Bay wins a game uglier than your grandmother’s Christmas sweater.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 5-7 Green Bay Packers 20-17
Having stuck with the Packers against my better judgement during this losing streak, I can’t abandon them now. Not even sure what to hang my hat on – I’ll go with lucky bounces and some frozen Falcons not wanting to be out there…
Adam Czech 9-3 Atlanta Falcons 27-24
As I write this, there’s a chance that Marshall Newhouse could start at left tack on Sunday. If that’s the case, the Packers might lose 110-4 and end up with -76 yards of offense. If whatever is wrong with Bakhtiari is cured by Sunday and Newhouse (mercifully) doesn’t play left tackle, the Packers will only lose by a field goal.
Marques Eversoll 8-4 Atlanta Falcons 27-24
I think it’ll be close, but I can’t see the Packers winning this one without Aaron Rodgers. The Falcons aren’t good, either, but they’re a little better than this beaten-up Packers team.
Thomas Hobbes 5-7 Green Bay Packers 13-10
I’m going to try to stay optimistic and assume that anyone on the team who wasn’t afraid of losing their jobs will be on their toes after last week.  Losing more games is likely to start seeing heads roll and everyone knows it.  Luckily the Falcons have had just as much of a nose-dive as the Packers this year and they don’t have the alibi of losing their starting quarterback.
Cory Jennerjohn 9-3 Green Bay Packers 20-16
I realize the Packers are 0-4-1 in their last five but if ever Green Bay needed help from the football gods, this is the perfect time. The Falcons bagged the season the moment Julio Jones went down. This is the classic “I Told You So” game for Ted Thompson. Thirty-year-old Steven Jackson was a target of the Packers in the offseason, but has been a shell of himself while battling injuries as he continues to get slower. Sound the alarm for Eddie Lacy — Atlanta is 30th in the league by allowing 126 rushing yards a game.
6

December

Packers Periscope: Week 14 vs. Atlanta Falcons

The Past: While the last meeting between these two teams actually occurred in week 5 of the 2011 season (which the Packers won), most fans will remember the NFC divisional game in 2010 where Aaron Rodgers played perhaps the finest game of his career, going 31 for 36, 26 yards and 3 touchdowns, which even then doesn’t show the complete dominance of the performance.  Rodgers simply could not be brought down, often scrambling from surefire sacks, and could not be slowed down, throwing pinpoint darts to receivers who were blanket covered.

On defense, a pivotal interception returned for a touchdown by Tramon Williams at the end of the 1st half was the catalyst that sparked the Packers to dominate the second half.  With Rodgers putting up points with ease, the Falcons offense played to match the Packers point for point; however the Falcons offense buckled under the pressure, most notably with quarterback Matt Ryan making several poor decisions including 2 interceptions and a fumble which sealed the game.

During the offseason, the Packers and Falcons engaged in some more gamesmanship by bidding for the services of veteran running back Steven Jackson, who was a free agent for the first time after playing for the St. Louis Rams for nearly a decade.  In the end, Ted Thompson stuck with his draft and develop and frugal free agency philosophy and let Jackson sign with the Falcons.  However, Thompson perhaps got the last laugh as the Packers drafted Alabama star running back Eddie Lacy, who plays with some Steven Jacksons in him and is a candidate for rookie of the year honors while age and injury has finally caught up with Jackson, who has only started 8 games, rushing 97 times for a paltry 339 yards.

29

May

I Have a Feeling: Atlanta Falcons Most Important Packers Opponent in 2013

The Atlanta Falcons could be the Green Bay Packers most important 2013 opponent.

The Atlanta Falcons could be the Green Bay Packers most important 2013 opponent.

Last offseason, our fearless leader “Jersey” Al Bracco predicted that Ryan Grant would return to the Green Bay Packers. Though the circumstances were different from what he envisioned, Al’s gut feeling came true, and Grant signed with the Packers in December as back-up insurance. This year, I am going to announce my own bold prediction that the Atlanta Falcons will be Green Bay’s most critical opponent in the coming 2013 season.

I was sizing up the schedule recently, wondering to myself what the most important game of the year would be for the Packers. Many fans have the Week 1 game against the San Francisco 49ers circled in fire engine red, but for me that game comes way too early to have a truly significant impact. As a conference opponent, it will certainly have some sway on playoff seeding; nevertheless, there is still plenty of time to recoup a loss.

That line of thinking led me to the latter portion of the season, where the playoff picture slowly starts sliding into place and a single win or loss could change things drastically.

Within the final six games, the Packers face off against all three division opponents, two conference rivals in the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys, and the lone AFC foe Pittsburgh Steelers. There is a strong chance that the Week 17 game versus the Chicago Bears will be significant when it comes to the playoffs, especially after last season. We shouldn’t soon forget that Green Bay’s loss to the Vikings in 2012 bumped them out of the #2 seed and a first-round bye.

However, my sights are set on Week 14, when the Falcons travel to Lambeau Field for a Sunday night showdown in the December cold. At that point, both teams will have played twelve games and should have a rather clear idea of their chances in their respective divisions, as well as in the NFC. The outcome of the match-up will certainly affect the urgency with which both teams approach the remaining three games.

But even beyond that, the Atlanta Falcons could be a top contender in the NFC next year. Many folks are focused on the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks as Super Bowl prospects, but as Jeff Fedotin of the National Football Post points out, Atlanta is quietly flying under the radar as the team to beat.

14

March

Dirty Bird Steven Jackson Poops on Packers’ Plans

RB Steven Jackson

“Almost” Packers RB Steven Jackson

When free agency kicked off on Tuesday, Pro Football Talk suggested the Packers were the early favorite to sign running back Steven Jackson. Later, Bill Huber of Packer Report tweeted that Jackson will “likely” sign with Green Bay.

So much for speculation. ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Czar of inside NFL information, has just reported that Jackson has declined the Packers’ offer and signed a 3-year deal with the Falcons.

Jackson, 29, has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark every season since taking over as the starter in 2005. But with a great deal of production comes a lot of tread on the tires; Jackson has carried the ball 2,395 times in his nine-year NFL career.

Along with the Packers, the Falcons, Bengals, Lions and Steelers showed interest in signing the veteran running back. When Sports Illustrated NFL writer Peter King told Jackson that he should sign with Green Bay, Jackson responded, “It makes a lot of sense.”

Jackson would have been a short-term fix for the Packers at running back, considering he will turn 30 before the season. Green Bay signed Cedric Benson, then 29, last offseason to shoulder the load in the ground game.  Barring other developments, Benson will surely be back.

Jackson is a three-time Pro Bowl selection, making the team in 2006, 2009 and 2010. He was the 24th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, which is exactly where the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers one year later. And now he’s a Falcon.

The Packers’ contract is now lining the bottom of some Dirty Bird’s cage and Ted Thompson is left looking in the air and wiping something off his jacket.

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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.

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20

January

2012 NFL Playoffs Predictions, Conference Championships: AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
2012 NFL Playoffs: Conference Championships
Name Straight Up Against the Spread
San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons (+4)
Kris Burke 49ers Falcons
“Jersey” Al Bracco 49ers Falcons
Adam Czech 49ers Falcons
Marques Eversoll 49ers Falcons
Thomas Hobbes 49ers 49ers
Jason Perone Falcons Falcons
Chad Toporski 49ers 49ers
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots (-8)
Kris Burke Ravens Ravens
“Jersey” Al Bracco Patriots Ravens
Adam Czech Patriots Ravens
Marques Eversoll Patriots Ravens
Thomas Hobbes Patriots Ravens
Jason Perone Patriots Ravens
Chad Toporski Ravens Ravens

Current Standings:

Kris Burke, 9-7
“Jersey” Al Bracco, 11-5
Adam Czech, 8-8
Marques Eversoll, 8-8
Thomas Hobbes, 6-10
Jason Perone, 9-7
Chad Toporski, 11-5

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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12

January

2012 NFL Playoffs Predictions, Divisional Round: AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
2012 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round
Name Straight Up Against the Spread
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (-9)
Kris Burke Broncos Broncos
“Jersey” Al Bracco Broncos Ravens
Adam Czech Broncos Broncos
Marques Eversoll Broncos Broncos
Thomas Hobbes Broncos Broncos
Jason Perone Broncos Ravens
Chad Toporski Ravens Ravens
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-3)
Kris Burke 49ers 49ers
“Jersey” Al Bracco Packers Packers
Adam Czech Packers Packers
Marques Eversoll Packers Packers
Thomas Hobbes Packers Packers
Jason Perone 49ers 49ers
Chad Toporski 49ers Packers
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5)
Kris Burke Falcons Falcons
“Jersey” Al Bracco Falcons Falcons
Adam Czech Seachickens Seachickens
Marques Eversoll Seahawks Seahawks
Thomas Hobbes Falcons Falcons
Jason Perone Falcons Falcons
Chad Toporski Seahawks Seahawks
Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-9.5)
Kris Burke Patriots Texans
“Jersey” Al Bracco Patriots Texans
Adam Czech Patriots Texans
Marques Eversoll Patriots Patriots
Thomas Hobbes Patriots Patriots
Jason Perone Patriots Patriots
Chad Toporski Patriots Texans

Current Standings:

Kris Burke, 5-3
“Jersey” Al Bracco, 8-0
Adam Czech, 6-2
Marques Eversoll, 5-3
Thomas Hobbes, 3-5
Jason Perone, 3-5
Chad Toporski, 6-2

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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