Coming off an impressive win against one of the best teams in the NFC, the Packers come back home to play a struggling Atlanta team. Atlanta is a high powered offense that hasn’t been able to close games, but they should not be taken lightly. On paper, this looks like a game the Packers should take easily, but there are some things they need to do to make sure they stay undefeated.
1. Stop the Run
The Flacons have Todd Gurley, who hasn’t been in the spotlight much this season. However, the Packers run defense clearly isn’t their best unit. The Falcons have given Gurley alone 14 carries in each of their first three games. If Kenny Clark is inactive, this could be the week Todd Gurley breaks loose and takes advantage of a week run defense. If the Packers can’t stop the run Atlanta will have full control of the clock, and Green Bay will have limited opportunities with an already short-handed offense.
2. Pressure Matt Ryan
The Falcons have protected their quarterback well this year, allowing only five sacks. The Packers pass rush has yet again been good this year. The sack numbers are not stacking up like last year, but Rashan Gary, Za’Darius Smith, and Preston Smith have all been affecting quarterbacks at a high rate this year. There is a good chance Atlanta is without Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley this week. This means Ryan won’t have his top two options at wideout and may hold the ball longer than usual. Green Bay needs to capitalize and make some impact plays by getting to Matty Ice.
3. Feed Aaron Jones
This should come as no surprise as this should be a focal point every week. Aaron Jones is one of the best weapons in the entire NFL. With Davante Adams status up in the air for Monday Night, Aaron Jones will be the go-to on offense. The Packers are 5-0 without Davante Adams since last year, so his absence isn’t something that will make the offense stall. Obviously, when Adams is back the Packers offense will be even better than what it was able to do the last two weeks without him playing.