The Atlanta Falcons have a chance to make a statement this Monday night. Everybody knows the story of the NFC South, and how Atlanta is leading the division with a (5-7) record, but their season may be taking a turn for the better. However, it all hinges on Monday night’s game with Green Bay.
Quietly, Atlanta has won three of their last four games, and the only loss was at the last second to Cleveland. With the win over Arizona, the Falcons proved they can beat division leaders in the NFC, but they have a chance to reach a whole new level in week 14.
Atlanta certainly has the talent to play with Green Bay, but they are going against the best quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) in the NFL right now. That means Matt Ryan must play his best game of the season if the Falcons are looking to pull off the upset. Normally, teams don’t have to play mistake-free football to win, but the Falcons need to capitalize on every opportunity. Atlanta can’t afford numerous turnovers, and they need to get the ball to the playmakers.
Offensively, the Falcons have the talent on the outside to stress the Green Bay defense. Last week, Julio Jones produced a dominating performance with 10 catches for 189 yards and one touchdown. He was complemented by Harry Douglas’ best game in 2014. Douglas caught nine passes for 116 yards. While Jones, and Roddy White are the go-to receivers for Atlanta, it’s evident that Harry Douglas has been a difference maker for the Atlanta offense.
Steven Jackson also had his best game as a Falcon last week. Jackson ran for 101 yards on 18 carries in the victory over Arizona, and they’ll need him to keep his productivity raised in the final four weeks. Can Jackson be a factor in a game where he’s needed most?
Atlanta is not shy about throwing the ball, so they may come out and attack Green Bay through the air. Depending on how successful the game plan is, the Falcons can stay in the game. From recent history, Atlanta will have to score with Green Bay.
Thanks, to Dallas’ Thursday night win, chances of an NFC South wildcard have been completely obliterated. Therefore, a win for Atlanta helps immensely, but they have to beat the New Orleans Saints in a couple of weeks. As long as they end up with a tie in the record book, a sweep over the Saints will be the difference.