Ryan vs. Rodgers Preview

January 15, 2011 | Michael Schwartz

Packers vs. Falcons Preview

The Green Bay Packers are holding their heads high since they just beat the high flying Eagles offense. They contained Michael Vick who is arguably the MVP of the NFL. They contained Desean Jackson and they will have to contain another big receiver in Roddy White. White is one of the best receivers in the NFL and is a Pro Bowler this year. He has come up big in numerous situations and he is Matt Ryan’s favorite target. Matt Ryan has had his best year since coming into the league in 2008. Ryan gets help since the Falcons are a good running team. Michael Turner had another good year in which he had over 1000 yards and 10 touchdowns. This helps them since the play action works and teams have to account for anything with their offense. The Falcons are going against the fifth ranked defense in the NFL, led by veteran Charles Woodson. He is one of the best corners in the NFL, and he is great at shutting down big name receivers. He’s good at this because the Packers get a lot of pressure on the quarterback. Led by Clay Matthews who had over 10 sacks this year is great at getting to the quarterback and making him get out of the pocket. B.J Raji is great at stuffing the run and causing double or even triple teams. This helps Matthews in a lot of ways since he is usually one on one on the outside. The Falcons offense is good against good defenses. They scored 26 points against the Ravens and that is because the Ravens couldn’t get to Ryan. If the Packers don’t get to Ryan, he will pick them apart and the Falcons will win this game.

The Green Bay Packers offense is going against an average Falcons defense. Aaron Rodgers didn’t have a good game last week against the Eagles, but he will likely bounce back strong. If the Packers get their run game going this week, like they did last week, then the Falcons are in loads of trouble. The Packers offense is very good at passing the ball, and that is because they have good receivers in Greg Jennings and James Jones. These two receivers have been catching passes all over defenses this year and this won’t change in this game. These two receivers do a great job at getting open quick so Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have to hang onto the ball for a long time. This Falcons defense will need to get pressure and that will be on the back of John Abraham. He is their best pass rusher and is considered to be one of the better ones in the NFC. He is great in one on one situations, so the Packers will likely double team him with a tackle and a running back or a tackle and tight end. The Packers need to keep Rodgers clean if they want to win this game. He is good at escaping pressure, but if he has time in the pocket he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The Falcons pass rush is a key in this game, if they want to move on to the NFC Championship.

The Falcons offense has been very good this year, led by Matt Ryan at quarterback. They can pass the ball and they have the weapons to do it. Roddy White and veteran Tony Gonzalez are very good at getting open for Matt Ryan. Gonzalez is one of the best tight ends of all time and he has showed that with another great season in Atlanta. The Packers are a fast defense and can stop him by putting a quick linebacker on him, such as A.J Hawk. Hawk is a good linebacker with good speed and he can likely contain Gonzalez. Roddy White is tough to contain but veteran Charles Woodson has been covering guys like him for years. If the Packers can get a pass rush then the Falcons don’t stand a chance. The Packers don’t let teams run on them, so the Falcons will likely be one dimensional. The Falcons are a good running team but the Packers don’t let teams run, so the Falcons will need Matt Ryan to have another great game if they want to win.

Prediction: 27-20 Packers

I think that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense will dominate the Falcons defense, and their defense will do just enough to stop the Falcons. This will be a close game from the get go, but in the end, I think that Aaron Rodgers is the better quarterback and is considered one of the NFL’s elite. Matt Ryan is a great young quarterback, but has only been in two playoff games. Ryan will lead his team down the field, like he has all year, but throw an interception or do something that will cost them the game.