Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Andrew’s Week 14 NFL Breakdown and Analysis
December 8, 2014
Rounding out the NFL’s Week 14 schedule on “Monday Night Football” we had a cross-conference NFC matchup between the Falcons and the Packers. Atlanta was coming off a big win over the Cardinals, while Green Bay took care of business against the Patriots in Week 13. This one was a high-scoring affair which showcased each team’s potent offensive capabilities.
Let’s take a closer look at the key players and statistics from this one so that we can figure out exactly why things played out the way they did. Afterward we’ll look ahead to Week 15 to see what’s in store for both teams.
What Happened: It was the oft-quoted “tale of two halves” in this one, as the game was rolling the direction of Green Bay before the break and Atlanta after. The Packers got the scoring started on a 3-yard James Starks run, but Steven Jackson answered on a 4-yarder of his own to tie it up after one.
In the second, it was all Green Bay. Eddie Lacy scored on a 1-yard run early, then Mason Crosby booted a 38-yard field goal. Lacy would strike again on a 1-yard pass later in the quarter, and Jordy Nelson would hook up with Aaron Rodgers on a 10-yard TD strike near the end of the half for a 31-7 lead.
After the break, Atlanta seemed to wake up. Eric Weems and Matt Ryan hooked up on a 5-yard strike, then Matt Bryant kicked a 50-yard field goal. Crosby would respond with another boot for a 34-17 result after three.
In the fourth, Julio Jones bagged a 22-yard TD catch from Ryan, and Nelson put up his second TD, this one a 60-yarder. Roddy White got in on the action on the other side with a 1-yard TD catch. Crosby would connect on an important 53-yard field goal to put the Packers up 13, but Harry Douglas would make it interesting with a 2-yard TD catch.
Green Bay recovered the ensuing onside kick, and the Packers were able to hang on in a wild one 43-37.
USA TODAY Sports
The Stars: We’ve got lots of accolades to hand out in this one. Rodgers finished with 327 yards and three touchdowns. His main beneficiary was Nelson, who posted 146 yards and two touchdowns. Starks had a breakout game with 101 total yards and the TD.
On the other side, it was all Julio Jones. He posted 11 grabs for a career-high 259 yards and a TD, making up the vast majority of Ryan’s 375 passing yards.
The Goats: Neither defense really showed up here. The Falcons pass rush was almost nonexistent, and the Packers’ wasn’t any better. Each team had just one sack. If you give Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan all day to throw the ball, a 43-37 score is what happens.
Neither team’s top receiver could be stopped, and there was really no reason to go to anyone else. The teams’ No. 2 pass-catchers, Roddy White and Randall Cobb, were quiet with just seven catches between them.
Injuries: Jones’ big night could have been even bigger. He left late in the game due to a hip injury. Atlanta also had some banged-up players in the secondary. Green Bay didn’t emerge unscathed here, either. Lacy succumbed to a hip injury of his own and was pulled from the game in the fourth.
Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 15, both teams will be back in action on Sunday, December 14 at 1:00 PM ET. The Falcons will host the Steelers (CBS), while the Packers will head to Buffalo to visit the Bills (FOX).
For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.