Green Bay Packers: Ten Players Key to a Win Versus the Atlanta Falcons

Anthony BonnetCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2011

Green Bay Packers: Ten Players Key to a Win Versus the Atlanta Falcons

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 28:  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers rushes upfield away from Corey Peters #91 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 28, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    There are several key players on the Packers that if they have a bad game, it could cost us a win. If they have a great game, it could get us a win.

    In many peoples' opinion, including myself, the Packers match up well against just about every NFL team; this is why we've won three straight while looking impressive.

    There's five guys on offense, five guys on defense that will be key to if the Packers win this game.

5: BJ Raji

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    GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 03: B.J. Raji #90 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates a defensive stop against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on October 3, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 28-26. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Ima
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    B.J Raji led the NFL in sacks for nose tackles, with 6.5. He's been able to pressure quarterbacks pretty consistently, and has led to many poor throws and others gathering sacks.

    He was shut down against Atlanta last time, getting only an assist tackle. The Falcons' offensive line is good; we can win without him getting a lot of pressure but it will make the job harder. While he's superior most of the time in pass rushing, he has troubles when it comes to run stopping; this is why the Falcons gashed the Packers defense for 110 yards and a score last time we met.

4: Sam Shields

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    GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 26: Sam Shields #37 of the Green Bay Packers breaks up a pass intended for Pierre Garcon #85 of the Indianapolis Colts during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 26, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Col
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The undrafted rookie out of Miami may be picked on again, as he has been much of this season. He's looked solid, especially coming down the stretch, but he still is susceptible to giving up a big play here and there.

    If he can lock up the second receiver consistently, the Packers' chances to win this game are a little better.

3: Tramon Williams

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 09:  Tramon Williams #38 of the Green Bay Packers intercepts the pass intended for Riley Cooper #14 of the Philadelphia Eagles late in the fourth quarter during the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on J
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Tramon Williams would be able to do fairly well against Roddy White.  While Tramon looks great and he deserves his wealthy contract, he is no Asomugha, and he may need safety help to contain Roddy White to less than 100 yards.

    Regardless, he could turn into the best lock down corner in the NFL next year if he continues his progression. Before we look into the future though, we need to worry about this week: If he stops Roddy White, we have a great chance to win this game. He's scored 10 of the Falcons' touchdowns this year. 

2: Charles Woodson

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 03:  Charles Woodson #21 of the Green Bay Packers looks on from the field against the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Im
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Charles Woodson is possibly the most versatile player on the Packers defense. He can rush the quarterback well, stop the run well, and cover decently (although he's lost a step in covering because of aging). If he can do all the things he usually does well, then the Packers have a great chance to win. 

1: Clay Matthews

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 09:  Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after a sack against the Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9, 2011 in Philadelp
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Who else? He's fourth in the NFL in sacks and is in contention for the Defensive Player of the Year award. He has a constant motor that gets to the quarterback. He didn't have a sack in the first game in the Falcons, but if he can get one or more, as well as stop Michael Turner, we could hold them to less than 10 points, which is more than adequate for our offense to score more points than that.

5: Bryan Bulaga

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    SEATTLE - AUGUST 21:  Guard Bryan Bulaga #75 of the Green Bay Packers looks on prior to the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on August 21, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    If Bryan Bulaga can hold back on the holding and false start penalties, the Packers could have a much easier time on offense. Nothing would be worse than to see James Starks get a big run, or A-Rod airing it down the field to one of our receivers, but it getting called back because of a hold that Bulaga doesn't even matter into the play.

    Aaron Rodgers knows he struggles at times and will get more protection to help, or will get rid of the ball quickly. Lets hope Bulaga can hold off the tough Atlanta defensive linemen to keep Rodgers clean.

4: Greg Jennings

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 28:  Brent Grimes #20 of the Atlanta Falcons tackles Greg Jennings #85 of the Green Bay Packers at Georgia Dome on November 28, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Why so far down the list for former Pro Bowler Greg Jennings? He's had a few low yardage games but the Packers always find other weapons to spread the ball to.

    But if Greg Jennings can get over 100 yards and a touchdown, then that usually means we're getting the ball down the field and scoring points. If Greg Jennings gets going and doesn't drop the ball, we will probably win the game.

3: James Jones

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    GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 26:  James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers leaps into the stands after scoring a touchdown against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on December 26, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    This is not a ranking of the best players on the team, obviously. James Jones is above Greg Jennings because if he could've held onto that ball last week, he would've likely had over 100 yards and two scores.

    He'd be the obvious replacement for Donald Driver and could have about 1,000 yards if he was more sure with catching the ball. Because of these drops, though, we may not even see him on the Packers team, much less getting a good contract that he probably deserves. 

    If Jones can hold onto the ball when he gets the ball this week (and listening to him this past week, he seems like he's going to try his hardest to correct his problems), then he could lead us to an easy win (pairing this with Jennings' possible stats).

2: Aaron Rodgers

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 09:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after a touchdown in the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9, 2011 in Philad
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Aaron Rodgers had only one touchdown in the first game against Atlanta, and will be looking to get it going easier with the new-found threat in James Starks. He's a great football player and now that he has the monkey off his back (of not having a playoff win), he could unload and have a superb game against the Falcons. 

1: James Starks

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 09:  James Starks #44 of the Green Bay Packers avoids the tackle of Ernie Sims #50 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    James Starks... Everyone says he's the ground game that the Packers have been looking for this whole season since Ryan Grant went down. It's only one game that he had production in, and the Eagles didn't game plan for him...which may not give him as wide open holes this week as he did last week, now that the Falcons knows how he plays. He will be the main key of this game; if he can get at least 15 carries and a 4.5 yards per carry average, as well as a score, I think the Packers will be able to control the clock and win this game.

Final Score:

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  Mike McCarthy, head coach of the Green Bay Packers, reacts during the third quarter of the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Im
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Green Bay 33, Atlanta 27