Packers Drop NFC Championship Rematch 34-23
Written by Luke Ghiardi on September 18, 2017
Atlanta, GA – September 18, 2017 – On January 22, 2017, the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons met in the last game ever to be played at the Georgia Dome to decide who was going to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Falcons blasted the Packers 44-21. Last night, 8 months later, the two teams squared off again in the first ever game in the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Its was a new stadium, some new player personnel on each team, but the result was ultimately the same. The Falcons set the tone on their opening drive. Cutting through the Packers like warm butter, reigning MVP Matt Ryan led the Falcons on a 9-play, 86 yard drive resulting in a Devonta Freeman 1-yard touchdown run. But unlike the NFC Championship game less than a year ago, the Packers answered right back.
Aaron Rodgers lead his own long drive to answer the Falcons. Going 75 yards in 11 plays, and converting on 3rd down a few times along the way, The Packers’ Ty Montgomery punched it into the end zone from 1-yard out to knot things up at 7-7.
That is as bright as the night got for Green Bay.
The Falcons scored a touchdown and a field goal on their next two drives while their defense held Rodgers and company in check, to take a 17-7 advantage. Then as halftime neared, Aaron Rodgers threw a rare interception while looking for Geronimo Allison in their own territory and opened up an opportunity for Atlanta to blow the game open before halftime. They did just that.
It took the Falcons just 28 seconds to go 36 yards for a score. Matt Ryan found Tevin Coleman in the corner of the end zone with 19 seconds on the clock to take a 24-7 lead into halftime.
Coming out of the locker room and looking to get back into the game, the 2nd half could not have started worse for the Packers.
Facing a 2nd and 5 from his own 29 yard line, Aaron Rodgers lined up at the 25 yard line, in the shotgun. Facing pressure off the edge from Atlanta’s Vic Beasley, Rodgers retreated 4 yards to the 21. As Rodgers was being hit, he attempted to throw the ball away to avoid a sack. The ball appeared to land a half a yard behind where the ball was when it left Rodgers’ hand, making it a fumble and a live ball. The Falcons’ Desmond Trufant picked the ball up off the turf, and scampered into the end zone to put the final nail into the Packers’ proverbial coffin.
The Packers put up 13 points in the 4th quarter, but never got the game within two possessions. The Packers also potentially lost more than just the game on Sunday night. Starting defensive tackle Mike Daniels and top receiving target Jordy Nelson both left the game with injuries in the first half.
The loss brings the Packers to 1-1 on the season. The Packers host the 0-2 Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday, September 24, at 4:25 pm. You can catch all of the action on the air on your Marquette County Packers affiliate 98.3 WRUP.