Live from Green Bay: A Falcons-Packers playoff preview?

Layered against the cold, Mr. Ledbetter treads the frozen tundra. (M. Bradley)

Layered against the cold, Mr. Ledbetter treads the frozen tundra. (M. Bradley)

Layered against the cold, Mr. Ledbetter treads the frozen tundra. (M. Bradley)

Layered against the cold, Mr. Ledbetter treads the frozen tundra. (M. Bradley)

Green Bay, Wis. — I know, I know. It’s still hard to consider these Atlanta Falcons, who’ve lost more than they’ve won, a playoff team. But the NFC South is so bad that they could and maybe should qualify for the postseason, and if they they’ll do they’ll play host to a Round 1 game. And once they beat Seattle in the Dome — OK, now I’m reaching — they could be back here for Round 2.

But enough about that. Let’s talk weather. Esteemed colleague D. Orlando Ledbetter drove us north from Milwaukee, and once we got close to Titletown (as the locals call G.B.) we saw what I believe is known as … Frozen Tundra! There was snow covering the fields — there are lots of fields north of Milwaukee — and snow was coming down, and I was thinking, “This is kind of awful.”

Then we walked into the press box and D-Led’s old Milwaukee colleagues started talking about how nice the weather is — it’s 33 degrees with a 40 percent chance of mixed wintry precipitation tonight — so I guess it’s all relative. If we had this back in Atlanta, there’d be no bread or milk on any supermarket shelves. Up here, they’re breaking out the sunscreen.

The Milwaukee radio station was all aflutter with news that Brett Favre was in town today to speak at a fundraiser, and there was great speculation that he’d show up at Lambeau Field tonight. (Perhaps for the coin toss? Perhaps to un-retire yet again and take the first series at QB?) But no such luck. Favre did his speaking and flew home to Hattiesburg, Miss., where I’m guess there’s no wintry mix awaiting.

About the game itself: The Packers should win. You’re free to disagree, and that’s why the comments box exist. I’ll be here until the tundra unfreezes — actually, I hope to be long gone by then — and somebody wins. I’d appreciate your company, and I thank you, as ever, in advance.

Reader Comments 0

1159 comments
itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

well all I can say is they did look competitive on Monday night football.kudos to ryan b/c he did not give up his traditional 2 interceptions ingames like this.if Julio catches the ball inbounds instead of trying to be cool & if the defense gets greenbay off the field the first time we closed it at 10 we have chance to snatch this one.

on the other note my wifes friend was looking at the demeanor of the QB 's and she says ryan looked scared while Rodgers looked like he was having a walk in the park take it for what its worth.people are complaining about d back coverage but heell if receivers got time to make double moves what do we expect.

reckingball
reckingball

I spent 3years in Milwaukee one winter. 

tbiscuit
tbiscuit

I don't get the sentiment of people not wanting to win the division.  Stupid.  You only get so many shots at it no matter what.  Take EVERY opportunity to make a run.  

zuzu331
zuzu331

A respectable game. Undoubtably time for the Regime (that DOESNT mean JUST Mike Smith,it  includes the GM,and the HC,along with the Coaching and Training and Scouting Staff for Developmentally Challenged Cowboy's greater comprehension) to go! It just doesnt seem like we are playing to Win. Like Gruden said at the start of the game,a decent OL would be a huge difference maker for Ryan and for the Run Game-no continuity. Very confusing team.

kerryb
kerryb

I would rather have the 10th pick in the draft instead of winning the division, being the first team eliminated, then picking #21 because we made the playoffs.  A lot of teams with better records will be picking before us.

notPlanB
notPlanB

Once we get to this point, I pull for a better next year. MS is not the biggest problem. TD is atrocious. Our backfield would have been fine without (4mil) S Jax & Snell in with the others. If TD had not given MR a contract after 13-3 he could have paid him 12 mil/yr after 4-12. Think what that 8 mil would have done for a pass rusher picked by a good GM. Giving Baker 6 mil plus is a joke for a guy playing 2 out of 7 years. Good OL have been let go, the new OL is only mediocre. Abe is gone & we have no pass rush. We have cap money left but Grimes is gone. Toilolo is a joke. Everyone seems to think because he's 6'8" that makes him great in the red zone. Ability not size does that.

I do not want to win the division this year. I want a new GM to be picking early, not late in the draft. Spoon is always hurt. Moore is always hurt.and don't mention drafting P Jerry instead of Clay Matthews. We must have a new GM. Since moving from Georgia 7 years ago, I get the games on the Directv NFL package. If TD is there next year, I will not pay for it again. I believe AB wants a winner. If TD is still GM, I will know our owner is not capable of producing one. 

Zapp
Zapp

Ryan made a critical mistake (interception), but the defense made 50 (you pick the one you like).  Green Bay builds their team through the draft, and Atlanta tries to sign old players for immediate gratification.  It goes back to the owner who thinks quick fixes are better than long term ones.  This offensive and defensive coordinator are not as good as the ones they had two years ago.  I blame the owner for meddling in places he knows nothing about.  The good part of this game is the effect on their remaining games.  There's no one on the schedule who should beat them, and they have a chance this year of winning the first game in the playoffs.  Hey you have to start somewhere.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Part of Falcons 2nd half success was due to Green Bay shutting it down in the 3rd qtr. I give the Falcons credit for taking advantage of this while they could. Once Packers realized the Falcons were getting close, Rogers hit Nelson on a 60 yard TD strike.

I'm not a big Ryan fan- particularly for what he draws on the salary cap- but he showed some meddle tonight. I only wish he'd demonstrate those type of skills more often. If he did his criticism would be far less. Julio also impressed for the 2nd straight week. I think he got tired of all the talk that he was not an elite caliber WR.

In the end, the team showed a lot of fight and emotion tonight which has been absent most of the year. Too bad it took staring down the barrel of a loaded gun to get it out of them. Just another sign that this team needs a new coach and GM heading into next season.

Ace Man
Ace Man

Mark, they played better in spite of themselves.

MarkBradley
MarkBradley moderator

Falcons lose. Tough game to make sense of, especially on deadline.

buellerbuellerbueller
buellerbuellerbueller

Like the Dawgs, the Falcons are frustratingly close- but have been for so long

scfalcon89
scfalcon89

ESPN can pop open the champagne now.

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

Moral victory my butt.  Should have won this game

AndrewsRiggs
AndrewsRiggs

Well they beat the spread. That's something.

LongsufferingFalconFan
LongsufferingFalconFan

There are no moral victories in professional football.  They may as well have gotten blown out.  


buick59
buick59

lose to Steelers, lose at Saints, might beat Panthers. 

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

how come the Packers always get to play us in their home field? We played them like 3 straight years at Lambeau. Talk about a bunch of cheaters.

80sFalcon
80sFalcon

Well they made it a game. Better than expected

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

If you stop them you have one more shot.  Falcons can't stop anyone

zuzu331
zuzu331

Damn Soliai is fat as Hell. What a waste of money.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Two more Falcons wins will likely win the division this year

ChopItUp
ChopItUp

If the offense plays likes this for the rest of the year, they will win out.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Proud of the Falcons effort – I guess that's about all you can say.

DamonH
DamonH

maybe the D will show up for the Steelers, doubt it but hey, you never know.

Tvshooter
Tvshooter

Everyone gave up except #20.

3rdbaseman
3rdbaseman

crappy run D put the fork in us, along with crappy D once again in all aspects

zuzu331
zuzu331

At least that DB tried. I'll give him that.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

can we get rid of this pathetic so called defensive coordinator?

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

looks like they have an Antone Smith on their team! I bet he doesn't have to do punt coverage!

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

50-37 gives a more accurate impression of what this game was really like

notPlanB
notPlanB

@tbiscuit  My idea is to build a team that has a chance to win the SB every year. To put a team in the playoffs losing, let's say 10 games, is not going far. Post season teams draft after the teams that didn't make it. All 7 of their draft picks would be made 10 picks later. That weakens the team. Let NO or Carolina win this year. Problem is, TB, NO & Carolina make better picks later than TD does ahead of them.

kerryb
kerryb

@notPlanB TD was brought in and given his first shot as GM mainly because he was a NE Patriots guy hoping he would have picked up something from working for them.  He has failed in talent scouting  miserably especially with defensive players.  Time to can him and get a more experienced one.  Do like the Braves, can the experiment and hire the experienced guy working under him.  Hire Scott Pioli.

notPlanB
notPlanB

@Zapp  If only we had someone good to draft well. We do not.

midtowncowboy
midtowncowboy

@Dirtyb8


Comical blame the coach when a professional football team can't stop a team when they know that team is going to run.

zuzu331
zuzu331

@midtowncowboy @LongsufferingFalconFan For you,'midnight cowboy':If you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent. […] the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.

—David Dunning[7]