Final

Packers 25

(5-0, 3-0 away)

Falcons 14

(2-3, 1-1 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:20 PM ET, October 9, 2011

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA 

1 2 3 4 T
GB 0 6 9 1025
ATL 7 7 0 014

Top Performers

Passing: A. Rodgers (GB) - 396 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: M. Turner (ATL) - 16 CAR, 56 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: J. Jones (GB) - 5 REC, 140 YDS, 1 TD

Aaron Rodgers, Packers take care of Falcons after slow start

Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Aaron Rodgers was down early, but hardly down and out.

In the end, the result was the same.

Another win for the Super Bowl champs in Atlanta.

Following up on a blowout of the Falcons in last year's playoffs, Rodgers threw for 396 yards and a pair of touchdowns to rally Green Bay from an early 14-point hole, keeping the Packers unbeaten with a 25-14 victory Sunday night.

"It was a choppy game but we persevered," Rodgers said. "We have a different team than years past. We expect to win when we take the field."

They certainly expect to win in Atlanta. Rodgers has turned the Georgia Dome into Lambeau Field South, throwing for 762 yards and five touchdowns in his last two games against the Falcons.

Thrown a softball of a question -- so, do you like playing in the A-T-L? -- the quarterback broke into a big smile.

"I do," he said, a playful tone in his voice.

The high-scoring Packers (5-0) were held without a touchdown in the first half by Atlanta (2-3), which was trying to make up for an embarrassing 48-21 loss to Green Bay last January. The Falcons had the Georgia Dome rocking when they raced to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, scoring on their first two possessions. After that, the home fans had little to cheer about.

Rodgers saw to that.

"There was no panic in the locker room," he said. "Once we settle in the game and start making plays, we have a good game."

Green Bay settled for three field goals by Mason Crosby, closing to 14-9 before Rodgers got rolling. He connected with James Jones on a 70-yard touchdown that gave Green Bay its first lead late in the third quarter. Then, on the first play of the fourth, Rodgers connected with Greg Jennings on a 29-yard scoring play that stretched the lead to 22-14.

Crosby clinched it for the Packers with his fourth field goal, a 30-yarder with 1:10 remaining after Rodgers guided the Packers on another long drive, hitting every pass he needed until Green Bay was safely in range to wrap it up.

"We just stayed patient," Rodgers said. "It's just one of those games. The rhythm wasn't there all the time, but we just stayed with it."

The Falcons looked as good as they have all season with those first two drives. Then, nothing.

"The way we played the first quarter is the way we want to play football," coach Mike Smith said. "After that, it was not what we wanted. We made way too many mistakes."

Atlanta didn't crack 200 total yards until late in the game. Matt Ryan had another tough night against the Packers, throwing for just 167 yards with two more interceptions after turning it over three times in that playoff debacle last January.

Playing behind a makeshift line -- the Packers were without one starting tackle, and lost another to an injury in the first half -- Rodgers was sacked four times and faced plenty of pressure.

No problem. The Super Bowl MVP still completed 26 of 39, even with a couple of drops, and kept converting big third downs. Astonishingly, he completed passes to a dozen receivers, with Jones hauling in five throws for 140 yards.

"It was a tough game," Rodgers said. "I took a lot of shots, had to move around a little bit."

As if tired of hearing all week how dominant Green Bay was on offense, the Falcons showed off their own arsenal of weapons and plenty of imaginative play-calling the first two times they had the ball.

Taking the opening kickoff, Atlanta went 80 yards in 13 plays to grab a 7-0 lead on Ryan's 5-yard touchdown pass to Roddy White. What was more impressive was the way the Falcons drove the field.

Ryan completed four throws to three receivers, and also hooked up with Jacquizz Rodgers on a lateral pass that went for 11 yards. Julio Jones ran for 17 yards on a reverse. Michael Turner carried it four times for 21 yards.

The Packers were driving for the matching score when Ryan Grant took a shot from Brent Grimes, knocking the ball loose. Vance Walker fell on the fumble at the Atlanta 40, giving it back to Ryan and the Falcons offense.

Ten more plays, and it was 14-0. Ryan completed four straight passes for 45 yards. Turner finished it off by powering over from the 1. The Georgia Dome was rocking, and the Falcons looked unstoppable.

But the Super Bowl champs weren't going to just roll over.

"We're an adversity team," linebacker Desmond Bishop said. "You can't be a good team without being good in adversity."

Crosby connected from 32 and 35 yards to make it 14-6 at halftime, then boomed through a 56-yarder that matched the longest field goal in franchise history. An uneasy feeling settled over the raucous crowd, with good reason. After another three-and-out for an Atlanta offense that suddenly couldn't do anything right, the Packers finally took it to the end zone.

In one play.

Rodgers dropped back and fired one deep down the middle to Jones, who got a step on Thomas DeCoud, took the throw without breaking stride and easily outran James Sanders for the 70-yard score. Just like that, the Packers had the lead for the first time. Even after failing on the 2-point try, they were up 15-14. The Falcons never recovered.

"We're building something here," coach Mike McCarthy said. "That's what special about this team: our ability to make the big plays when we need them."

The lead grew on the first play of the fourth quarter. Rodgers threw over the middle to Jennings, who turned on a burst of speed to get around the corner, then stretched out with one hand to get the ball past the pylon.

The Falcons were able to get some heat on Rodgers after the Packers lost another offensive tackle.

Left tackle Chad Clifton was bowled over by Atlanta defensive end Ray Edwards in the second quarter and remained on the turf, clutching his right leg. He had to be helped off the field, then was carted to the locker room with a hamstring injury. Green Bay already was missing right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who sat out his second straight game with an ailing knee.

But these are two franchises headed in opposite directions. The Packers have now won 11 straight dating to last season, including their march to the Super Bowl title. The Falcons, coming off an NFC South championship but that playoff meltdown, have already lost as many regular-season games as they did all of last year.

"There's still a lot of football left to be played," Smith said. "We've just got to get better."

Game notes


The Falcons lost two members of their secondary in the first half. Safety William Moore went out with a shoulder injury, while nickel back Chris Owens was sidelined by a head injury. ... Charlie Peprah and Jarrett Bush had interceptions for the Packers. ... Jones went out early in fourth with a hamstring injury after running a deep route down the sideline. ... Atlanta RB Michael Turner has gone three straight games without reaching 100 yards. He was held to 56 on 16 carries.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
GB
ATL
1st Downs1918
Passing 1st downs
1411
Rushing 1st downs
55
1st downs from Penalties
02
3rd down efficiency
9-155-11
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays6355
Total Yards426251
Yards per play6.84.6
Total Drives1010
Passing369156
Comp - Att
26-3918-32
Yards per pass
9.54.9
Interceptions thrown
02
Sacks - Yards Lost
4-271-11
Rushing5795
Rushing Attempts
2022
Yards per rush
2.94.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-32-2
Penalties6-555-44
Turnovers12
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
02
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession33:1126:49

Passing Leaders

GBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rodgers26/3939610.2204-27
ATLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Ryan18/321675.2121-11

Rushing Leaders

GBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Starks12403.3011
Grant7182.609
ATLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Turner16563.5115
Jones11717.0017

Receiving Leaders

GBRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Jones514028.01707
Jennings48220.51395
ATLRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Gonzalez66010.00238
White6508.31159

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERGBATL
atlTD08:15Roddy White 5 Yd Pass From Matt Ryan (Matt Bryant Kick) 07
SECOND QUARTERGBATL
atlTD12:26Michael Turner 1 Yd Run (Matt Bryant Kick) 014
gbFG05:26Mason Crosby 32 Yd 314
gbFG00:08Mason Crosby 35 Yd 614
THIRD QUARTERGBATL
gbFG05:28Mason Crosby 56 Yd 914
gbTD03:42James Jones 70 Yd Pass From Aaron Rodgers (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) 1514
FOURTH QUARTERGBATL
gbTD14:51Greg Jennings 29 Yd Pass From Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby Kick) 2214
gbFG01:10Mason Crosby 30 Yd 2514

Research Notes

Matt Ryan was effective on the first two drives of the game, as he threw for 80 yards and guided the Falcons to 14 points. Ryan struggled the rest of the game, however, as the Falcons were held scoreless and he threw for only 7 more yards than he did on the first two drives.
  [+]
NEXT LEVEL: Matt Ryan's passing fortunes depended on how deep he threw the ball Sunday night. Ryan, on passes shorter than 10 yards, completed 75 percent and threw his only touchdown. When he threw the ball 11 or more yards, he completed only 25 percent and was picked off twice.
  [+]
NEXT LEVEL: Aaron Rodgers entered Week 5 as the league leader in play-action completions (32), yards (506) and touchdowns (5). On Sunday against the Falcons, Rodgers completed 5-of-11 passes off play-action for 134 yards and two touchdowns though he had vastly different results based on which feature back was on the field.
  [+]
Mike McCarthy becomes just the third Packers head coach to start 5-0, joining Vince Lombardi and Curly Lambeau. Needless to say, his name might be REALLY famous sometime down the line...
  [+]

FalconsSunday's loss for the Falcons was just their second under Mike Smith when leading at halftime, snapping a 23-game win streak.

  [+]
From Elias: Atlanta's loss snapped a 23-game win streak in which it led at the half which was easily the longest active streak in the NFL. The Falcons fall to 29-2 under Mike Smith when leading at the half. The longest such streak now belongs to the Steelers (15)
  [+]
From Elias: Aaron Rodgers threw his 100th career touchdown pass on Sunday. He has just 34 career interceptions. That is the fewest number of interceptions at the time of a 100th career touchdown pass, breaking the record previously held by Philip Rivers.
  [+]

PackersThe Packers became the first defending Super Bowl champion since the 2007 Colts to win their first five games. Two of the last five defending champs to start with at least five wins have gone on to repeat.

  [+]

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