Packers-Falcons: Three Keys
Crowd Control It will be a raucous crowd at the Georgia Dome so it's imperative that the Packers get into a good tempo early to quiet the crowd. Last week the Packers won the coin toss but deferred to the second half, hoping to take the crowd out by forcing a quick three-and-out. The plan worked and the Packers will need that same kind of execution today.
Ice Man Matt Ryan is no longer a game manager like he was in the 2008 meeting between the two teams. His completion percentage is higher than last year and he's on pace for careers highs in yards, touchdowns and quarterback rating while keeping his interceptions down. The emergence of Roddy White as an elite receiver has helped propelled Atlanta's offense so the Packers must continue to play well in the secondary.
Win The Turnover Battle The Falcons are 18th in total defense and 7th in scoring, decent but not great numbers. The real key is protecting the ball. Atlanta is second in the NFC in turnover margin at +10 including forcing 15 interceptions. So even though the Falcons can be thrown on they employ the bend-but-don't-break philosophy meaning Aaron Rodgers must continue to be sharp.
Prediction Falcons 26, Packers 21