Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- Both of these teams started their seasons with strong divisional wins, but still have a lot to prove in terms of their viability as contenders.
- This game will require efficiency if it is going to have much scoring, as both teams play at a very slow pace.
- Aaron Jones and Christian Watson’s hamstring injuries loom large over the potential for the Packers offense.
- Desmond Ridder has more receptions than Drake London this season.
- The Falcons offensive philosophy naturally attacks the “weakest” part of the Packers defense – in the running game.
- From a usage perspective, we should expect the Falcons running backs to hog the ball and the Packers passing game to be very spread out.
How green bay Will Try To Win ::
How will the Packers play without Aaron Rodgers? That was the biggest question for this team entering Week 1. Playing without star wide receiver Christian Watson, the Packers were predictably balanced and leaned heavily on their running backs. Excluding their drive in the final two minutes of the first half, the Packers offense had a 52.5% pass rate through three quarters (21 pass plays and 19 rush attempts). That number would have ranked outside the top 20 in the league for the 2022 NFL season. This week Watson and running back Aaron Jones missed practice both Wednesday and Thursday, leaving their statuses for Sunday’s matchup with the Falcons in doubt.
Watson and Jones are both battling hamstring injuries, which are notoriously difficult to predict and one of the more commonly aggravated injuries you can have. Given the explosive nature of both players and how key they are to the team’s long-term aspirations, it would make sense that the Packers would take a conservative approach here, which is why I am working under the assumption that these two will not be available this week or will be very limited if they are active. So what next? AJ Dillon will work as a true feature back, with Patrick Taylor mixing in for spot work and breathers. Taylor actually got some work late in last week’s blowout of the Bears, but there is a big gap between him and Dillon, which is why Dillon should be viewed as the feature back. In the passing game, Romeo Doubs got all the accolades from Week 1 because of his two touchdown receptions, but this was a pretty balanced attack as seven players had more than one target, but no one had more than five. While it was only one week, Jordan Love had the 5th highest average intended air yards in the NFL, as the Packers showed a willingness to let him be aggressive. Granted, this was against a Bears defense that looked like it still has a long way to go to be competitive, but the signs were encouraging for Love and not just because of the three touchdown passes.
This week, the Packers are playing an Atlanta team whose defense performed very well in Week 1, albeit against a work-in-progress Carolina offense. The Packers are coming off a very good performance and are likely going to be without their top-2 offensive weapons, which means that they are unlikely to shake things up from their balanced approach in this spot. They will rely on their defense to keep them in it and control the clock and possession. Given the nature of Atlanta’s approach, we should expect a healthy dose of AJ Dillon this week and Green Bay to once again have a very broad distribution of targets. Tight end Luke Musgrave led the Packers skill players in snaps in Week 1 and could have the best on-paper matchup this week after the Falcons gave up a good game to Hayden Hurst in Week 1. The Falcons blitzed on less than 20% of their defensive snaps in Week 1 (the 6th-lowest rate in the league), which should allow Love time to continue pushing the ball downfield and also allow Musgrave to be out running routes rather than staying in to chip blitzers.