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The Numbers Game, A Packers-Falcons Stats-apalooza

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Welcome to the playoff edition of our pre-game, quick hit, stats-apalooza. This is a broad, statistical overview of the current Atlanta Falcons' opponent. This week, it's the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional playoffs. The Packers did the Falcons a favor by dispatching Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles during last week's wild card round and their reward is a 766 mile flight South to the Georgia Dome for the right to play in the NFC championship game. Just seven weeks ago, the Falcons defeated the Packers, 20-17, on a Matt Bryant 47-yard field goal as time expired. Here's round two.

This is the first playoff game for the Falcons since their 30-24 loss to the Super Bowl-bound Arizona Cardinals in the 2008 wild card round. It's also their first home playoff game since a 47-17 whooping of the St. Louis Rams after the 2004 season. The Falcons would lose the following week in the NFC title game, 27-10 to the Eagles. Speaking of playoff games, this is the second time these two teams have met in the postseason but it's the first time they've played in Atlanta. In 1995, the Packers beat the Falcons 37-20 en route to the NFC championship game and again after the 2002 season when the Falcons became the first team to ever beat the Packers in a playoff game played at Lambeau Field.

Crazy Stat Alert: The Packers lost five games this season in which they were tied or held a lead at the start of the fourth quarter. Also, over the past five years, the Falcons have the NFL's best winning percentage when starting the fourth quarter tied or with a lead. They are 37-3 (93 percent). So basically if the Falcons are ahead when the fourth quarter starts, it's over -- Falcons win! Or if the Packers are ahead at the start of the fourth quarter, it's over too -- Falcons win! Not to mention Matt Ryan's home record of 20-2 and you see what I'm getting at here?

SERIES HISTORY:This will be the second meeting between the Falcons and Packers in the Mike Smith era. The Falcons have won both meetings by three points. CLOSE GAME ALERT!

Falcons Vs. Packers

This will be the 27th meeting between the Falcons and Packers all-time dating back to 1966. The series is tied 13 games apiece.

The Falcons record against the Packers (by decade):

  • 2010s...1-0
  • 2000s...3-2
  • 1990s...2-2
  • 1980s...3-2
  • 1970s...4-3
  • 1960s...0-4

Average Score since 2008:

  • Falcons 23.5
  • Packers 20.5

Average Yards since 2008:

  • Falcons 332.0
  • Packers 413.0

Both teams are going to move the ball in this game. The Packers have averaged 355.2 yards of total offense per game this season while the Falcons are putting up 341.1 total yards. Both offenses have been able to turn those yards into points as evidenced by their per game averages; 25.9 for the Falcons, 24.1 for the Packers.

Most Points Scored:

Falcons 47, Nov. 27, 1983

Highlight: In a wild 47-41 shootout, the Falcons defense came up with the game-winning pick six in overtime.

Packers 56, Oct. 23, 1966


Fewest Points Scored:

Falcons, 0, Oct. 1, 1967

Packers 0, Nov. 6, 1988

Longest Streak:

  • The Packers have won five in a row between 1966 and 1970.
  • The Falcons won three in a row between 1971 and 1974 though a win this week will tie that mark.

Coaches:

The Packers' Mike McCarthy is 50-34 as a head coach including a 2-2 record in playoff games. He's also never won two playoff games in the same season, something he'd need to accomplish to beat the Falcons.

Mike Smith is 33-16 as Falcons head coach including an 0-1 playoff record. A victory over the Packers would give Smith his first ever playoff win as a head coach.

Best Individual Performances Against the Packers:

  • Passing: Jeff George, 366 yards, 1995
  • Rushing: William Andrews, 129 yards, 1983
  • Receiving: Roddy White, 132 yards, 2008
  • Sacks: 18 players tied, 1, Most recent was John Abraham in Week 12

Best Career Numbers Against the Packers:

  • Passing: Steve Bartkowski, 863 yards in 4 games
  • Rushing: William Andrews, 317 yards in 4 games
  • Receiving: Alfred Jenkins, 391 yards in 5 games
  • Sacks: Patrick Kerney, 3.5 sacks in 4 games

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.