Grandeur ideas of having an undefeated season can finally be put the rest, as the Green Bay Packers earned their first loss of the 2023 NFL season against the Atlanta Falcons, 25-24. A struggle on offense dominated the headlines for the Packers, but overall it was a pretty solid showing, especially with the injuries.
The game script was against Green Bay early on, as their 47 offensive plays paled in comparison to Atlanta’s 78. Almost being doubled in total yards is not a sign of a healthy offense, but they were in the game until the very end.
Jordan Love yet again had a strong showing, producing his second-consecutive turnover-free contest. Only throwing for 151 yards on 14 completions isn’t great, but an 81.8 QB rating and 3 touchdowns helps make that line look better.
The running game didn’t help take any heat off of Love, especially with Aaron Jones out. AJ Dillon was the lead back on Sunday, earning 15 carries for only 55 yards. It was a paltry showing on the ground for the Packers, something that could have been due to losing Elgton Jenkins in the second half.
Congratulations goes out to both Dontayvion Wicks and Jayden Reed, two rookie wide receivers who caught their first-career NFL TDs. Reed led the team in targets (8) and receptions (4), but it was Wicks who had the most receiving yards (40).
Love moved the ball around quite well against the Falcons, as seven different players caught at least one pass, with five hauling in at least two balls. Reed especially looks to have earned the trust of the coaching staff and his QB, a great sign for a WR core that is heavy on youth and light on experience.
Defense & Special Teams
Allowing 446 total yards of offense to an average offense is not great for Joe Barry’s unit, especially with 211 of those yards coming on the ground. Rookie Bijan Robinson ran for 124 on his own, and the trio of Robinson, Allgeier (16 carries for 48 yards), and Desmond Ridder (10/39/1) dictated the pace of play.
Drake London was the only other playmaker that the Falcons heavily utilized in Sunday’s game, catching six passes for 67 yards and a TD. His seven targets led the team, but five players earned at least five targets, so Ridder was able to move the ball around.
Rasul Douglas recorded the lone turnover of the game, picking off Ridder on Atlanta’s first drive of the game. Quay Walker led the way with 17 tackles, a solid return after being cleared of a concussion in Week 1, while De’Vondre Campell recorded 14 tackles.
Kenny Clark earned two of the six QB hits, and both Clark and Rashan Gary earned a half-sack each. Not being able to get home on passing downs made this game a bit one-sided at times, but the Falcons have a solid offensive line, so it was a strength vs. strength battle in the trenches all day.
Not much was asked of rookie Anders Carlson, as he knocked all four (one field goal) through the uprights. A 100% accurate season continues for the Auburn rookie, and as long as his accuracy doesn’t fail him, then he will continue to be this team’s kicker moving forward.
A Week 3 home matchup with the New Orleans Saints will give Love his first home regular season game, hopefully helping him lead Green Bay to a 2-1 start on the season.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23