The Green Bay Packers head south to take on the Atlanta Falcons, who happen to be on a quest for revenge after the defending Super Bowl champs annihilated them in the first round of the playoffs a year ago.
Matt Ryan and the Falcons need to prove they're worthy of all the preseason hype and Super Bowl predictions, but the Packers are going to be very tough to beat.
The Falcons quarterback may be 21-3 at in the Georgia Dome, but extending the win column will be very difficult given the fact that Aaron Rodgers is going light up Atlanta's secondary.
Expect a high-powered offensive matchup on Sunday night, as well as a very close game. The Sunday night games have yet to let us down, and I don't see that trend stopping.
With that said, let's dig into some specifics about this huge NFC battle.
When: Sunday, Oct. 9 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
The Packers are favored at -6 right now, and while I do think this will be a close game that Atlanta could win, take the Packers because their offense will overpower the Falcons defense all night long.
If the Falcons defense struggles against Tavaris Jackson and Seahawks, then Rodgers is going to do enough to cover the spread.
The over/under is set at 53, which is almost too easy to take. Both offenses will be on point Sunday night, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Packers even scored close to 40 points.
The Falcons secondary is too easy to move ball on, and Rodgers will find the end-zone early and often. Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner will also produce well, which is why you should taking the over.
For the Falcons, Roddy White (thigh) is listed as probable and so is defensive back Chris Owens (ankle). Players listed as questionable are RB Jason Snelling (concussion), DT Johnathan Babineaux (knee), LB Stephen Nicholas (knee) and safety William Moore (neck).
For the Packers, Nick Collins (neck) is listed as out for the season, but Ryan Grant (kidney) and Donald Driver (shin) are probable. Packers players that are questionable for Sunday are Clay Matthew (quadriceps), Tramon Williams (shoulder) and Charles Woodson (foot, knee).
Fantasy Big Plays
Anybody on offense. I could leave it at that and be fine because both teams are going to put points on the board. Rodgers will have a great game, which mean Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson are good starts.
Roddy White and Michael Turner are the best starts for the Falcons, and I think Tony Gonzalez will contribute well, but he'll be unable to grab a touchdown for the third straight game.
Keys to a Green Bay Win
The Packers just need to keep doing what they're doing. They've already had two road tests this season, which means they'll be fully prepared for Sunday night.
As one of the only two remaining undefeated teams, the Packers are playing excellent football right now. Rodgers is really spreading the ball around, and he'll continue to so that in Atlanta.
The biggest concern for Green Bay is to not turn the ball over. I don't see Rodgers making many mistakes, so it's up to the ball carriers to hold on to the ball and avoid fumbles. The Georgia Dome is a rockin' place, and the crowd will feed off of opponents mistakes, which is why the Packers can't commit any.
Keys to an Atlanta Win
Somehow, some way, the Falcons have to get to Rodgers. That's easier said than done, which is why they need to focus on outscoring Green Bay because Atlanta's defense isn't going to make a ton of stops.
A balanced offensive attack will be key on Sunday night because Atlanta has to wear down the Packers defense, plus, the longer the Packers offense stays off the field the better.
If the run game isn't working, the Falcons can't freak out and make bad calls because it will result in quick drives, which is something Atlanta can't afford to do.
And as always, avoid turning the ball over and the Falcons cane make this a game.
Matt Ryan will have to add a loss to his impeccable record in the Georgia Dome because Aaron Rodgers is just too good. We've seen what he can do to Atlanta, and since they made no upgrades in the secondary expect another great game from the Super Bowl MVP.
If the Falcons can make some big stops and force turnovers then they can win this game, but it's difficult to see the Packers slowing down and ending their current hot streak.
Packers 34, Falcons 27
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