Let the Falcon Hunt Begin:
After a strong week 1 performance, the Green Bay Packers took the practice field yesterday, to prepare for their week 2 showdown against the Falcons in the inaugural regular season game at Mercedes Benz Stadium. With visions of last seasons NFC Championship game still fresh in their minds, The Packers have shown a sense of urgency to come back to Atlanta and put the NFL on notice that they are in fact, a real threat to win the Lombardi trophy.
Although the week 1 win against the Seahawks was impressive, and the Packers showed a lot of promise on both sides of the ball, the Atlanta Falcons are deemed by many to have one of the strongest constructed rosters in the NFL. This means that the Packers will not only need to build on their strong performance from a week ago against Seattle but, they will have to play a near, perfectly executed game in Atlanta this Sunday night, in order to be victorious.
3 Keys to Victory: ????
These are all very straight forward:
???? The offense has to play consistently for a full 60 minutes:
It is essential that the Packers establish the tempo of the game from the beginning, and take the crowd out of the game. I look for a similar game plan to last week; with quick passes and screens, followed by a couple of well-timed runs to establish the play action game down the field. The Packers must be able to sustain early drives to continue to move the chains. By sustaining drives, they will ensure that they will be putting much needed early points on the board, which will allow them to control the clock and the pace of the game moving forward.
???? The Special Teams unit must win the battle of average starting field position:
Justin Vogel must average 45-50 yards on his punts and continue to post hang times that will allow his coverage team to contain Atlanta’s return game. Conversely, Trevor Davis must make better decisions returning punts. Green Bay can ill afford to be continually pinned inside their own 5-yard line if they plan on scoring points in a hostile environment.
???? The Packers defense must travel with the team to Atlanta:
In order to be taken seriously as a championship contender, the Packers defense cannot be a unit that only plays well within the friendly confines of Lambeau field. Like championship teams that have come before them, the Packers must be able to go into a hostile environment and be able to make big plays against a high powered offense. (2011 NFC Divisional game in the Georgia Dome)
Week 1????Mike Daniels and the Green Bay Packers front seven must find ways to Ice Matt Ryan’s hot passing attack. One way to ice Matt Ryan’s aerial attack is to continually send different looks through exotic blitz schemes within the nitro, as well as other blitz packages. The key to containing Julio Jones will be through the Packers ability to consistently apply pressure and make Matt Ryan uncomfortable in the pocket, forcing him to hurry his throws.
The Packers cannot allow Atlanta to dominate the point of attack in all three phases of the game and must continually apply pressure to ensure that they control the tempo of the game.
When is it too Early to Say That “This is a Must Win Game”?
Although this is an early season contest between two of the NFC’s best, it is important that the Green Bay Packers develop an identity of what they expect from their season moving forward. I believe that this is a statement game that the Green Bay Packers must find a way to win. The Packers must show that this 2017-2018 team is different than recent teams of the past. They must show that they have a different pulse, a different approach, and a different attitude, and get the job done in Atlanta this Sunday with a win.
The Packers will come to Atlanta with the same week 1 intensity and stun the Falcons in their inaugural game at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Aaron Rodgers will shine on the Sunday Night Football stage and show why he will be the league MVP.
Packers win 31-24.——————
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave