Falcons Schedule 2011: Rematch Versus Packers Looms Large

Bad memories. That's what I get when I think of this team. I vividly remember watching in disgust as the Packers blew out the Falcons at home 48-21 on January 15th. I especially remember feeling my gut drop as Tramon Williams picked an ill-advised Ryan pass and took it the other way for a touchdown. With so much hype surrounding the Eagles, people often forget about Green Bay and how much they accomplished last season with some very injured ranks.

The defending Superbowl champs will be the team to beat in 2011, and the Falcons will get their shot to face with the Pack week five, at home on Sunday Night Football.

THE SKINNY:
Record
: Finished 10-6, Superbowl XLV Champions
Last Meeting: NFC Divisional Round, 2010 (Falcons won... on the inside)
Notable Additions: OT Derek Sherrod (draft pick), WR Randall Cobb (draft pick), RB Alex Green (draft pick)
Notable Losses: LB Nick Barnett, DT Cullen Jenkins, OG Daryn Colledge

With the Packers being one of those unfortunate teams over the new salary cap as the offseason began, they weren't very active at all during free agency. They did manage to keep a few important vets- AJ Hawk, James Jones, and John Kuhn to name a few- but their only new additions were through the draft.

Still, this team is very similar to the one that won a championship last year. Actually, they're more like a healthier version of the 2010 team. Barring any catastrophic injuries, this Packers team will be tough if not tougher than the one that stomped the Falcons in the playoffs. 

For Atlanta, they only need to look to their 20-17 regular season win over Green Bay find the keys to success. Pressuring Aaron Rodgers, keeping him in the pocket, and maintaining ball control will all be huge in this one. Too many times I've seen Rodgers slip away from a would-be lineman, only to scramble downfield for a 20-yard gain.

The Falcons need consistent pressure to stop guys like Rodgers and Brees, and hopefully this will be one of those games where Ray Edwards can step up and make a few big plays. As for the offense, two talented Packers corners in Woodson and Williams may leave Harry Douglas as the go-to guy for Ryan. Judging by his preseason performance thus far, a big performance may not be out of the question.

Regardless of who makes plays, the Packers will be the fourth playoff-caliber team on the first five weeks of the schedule. If the Falcons can make it past Green Bay, the remaining games won't be quite as brutal as the first five. For Mike Smith and company, it will be a real test of what this 2011 team is capable of doing.

For more on the Falcons, check out The Falcoholic. For more on the Packers, check out Acme Packing Compnay.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.