Green Bay Packers: Why They Will Beat the Falcons and Go On To Win the NFC

Michael BurkeContributor IIIJanuary 10, 2011

Rodgers celebrates during win over Eagles
Rodgers celebrates during win over EaglesAl Bello/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers pulled off a thrilling 21-16 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday and will play in Atlanta against the No. 1-seeded Atlanta Falcons for a birth in the conference championship.

Atlanta beat Green Bay 20-17 on a last second field goal when they met in November, but it will be different this time around.

I predicted before the playoffs that Green Bay would win the NFC (check out my last NFL article-, and I still believe this.

In my opinion, Green Bay got past their biggest test in Philadelphia, and I expect them to play a great game in Atlanta and go on to beat either Chicago or Seattle in the conference championship.

One reason I think Green Bay is the favorite in the conference is the play of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers had another great year, and after throwing three touchdowns and no interceptions in his first playoff win, I think it is fair to say he is now an elite quarterback. Matt Ryan, on the other hand, has only played one playoff game, and it was a loss two years ago.

Another thing the Packers really have going their way is the defense. They kept Michael Vick somewhat in check last week, including forcing him to throw an interception with the game on the line. They also shut down the Eagles running game, allowing McCoy just 46 yards rushing.

This defensive performance wasn’t a fluke, as they were ranked fifth in total defense this season. Their defense should have a lot of confidence now going forward.

The Packers also, after not doing much running at all this year, ran all over the Eagles. Well, James Starks, yes James Starks, ran all over the Eagles with 123 yards on 23 attempts. If Starks can continue to help balance out this team, they will be extremely tough to beat.

Also, I don’t think any of the other four teams really have what it takes to go to the Super Bowl. Atlanta’s record may be good, but they aren’t necessarily a great team.

The Falcons had just an average offense and defense this year despite their 13-3 record. Matt Ryan is a very good quarterback, but he was very shaky in his one playoff start, and I wouldn’t trust him to deliver a great game when they host Green Bay.

As far as the Bears and Seahawks go, I don’t think either is a good team. The Seahawks obviously were extremely lucky to make the playoffs and have no chance whatsoever to win the NFC. They just aren’t a good team and got a fluke win against the Saints.

The Bears also have a great record, but I think they are also extremely overrated.

Yes, they have a good defense, but let's not forget that this defense gave up 34 points to the Jets. They also have one of the worst offenses in the NFL, and I don’t see them having much of a shot of winning the conference.

Expect to see Green Bay get past the Falcons and the winner of the Hawks-Bears game and represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this February.