Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons Preview
Where: Georgia Dome – Atlanta, Georgia
When: Sunday, September 17, 2017 – 8:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBC
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Betting on the Green Bay Packers (+125)
It wasn’t the prettiest season-opening win in the world, but the Packers will definitely take it. The 17-9 victory should also taste better than most Ws, as it came at the expense of the Seattle Seahawks, a team that had beaten them controversially and frustratingly.
As always, Aaron Rodgers guided the attack in the right direction. He was 28-for-42 for 311 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, with his two favorite receivers putting up fantasy-friendly numbers – Jordy Nelson had seven catches for 79 yards and a TD, while Randall Cobb had nine receptions for 95 yards. The two will continue being as such, with last year’s breakout receiver, Davante Adams, also having his good share of production.
The versatile Ty Montgomery, who lines up as a receiver and a running back, had a tough day gaining yardage on the ground (19 carries for 54 yards, TD), but was able to run for a score.
The defense had a stat-stuffing day against the erratic Seahawks offense, as they hit Russell Wilson 10 times, got six tackles for loss, and disrupted five passes. It is not likely for the D to have a repeat performance this coming week, especially when you consider how worse they got carved up by the Falcons last time out (allowed 493 total yards and six TDs).
Green Bay went an unpredictable 4-4 on the road in 2016 (3-5 ATS).
Betting on the Atlanta Falcons (-145)
The Falcons didn’t rout the unheralded Chicago Bears like what some have been anticipating, as they only won a closely-contested, 23-17 game. However, considering that it’s because they are still in the adjustment period under new offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, things looked nice.
Their ever-relaxed QB, Matt Ryan, was 21-for-30 for 321 yards and one TD. Julio Jones and Mohammad Sanu each had over 60 yards, while tight end Austin Hooper racked up 128 yards in just two catches, highlighted by his 88-yard score early in the fourth that stretched their lead to 10. Although back Devonta Freeman only ran for 37 yards on 3.1 yards per carry, he was able to power for a rushing TD.
Sunday night still wasn’t the full Falcons offensive experience, and we should see them progress and be more productive in the coming weeks.
On defense, they had an up-and-down kind of game. They got 14 QB hits (four were sacks) and six tackles for loss, but also allowed 125 rushing yards on 6.6 yards per carry. Ryan and the offense are full of confidence for this entertaining clash, but if the defense can’t stop the run, the Packers will be able to pull away, as they are always full of plays for their vast array of weapons.
Atlanta was 5-3 at home last season (3-5 ATS).
The Packers (+2.5) get some revenge over their 2016 NFC Championship loss, 35-31.
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