(287) Green Bay vs. Atlanta (288)
PICK: 5dimes @ Over 53.5 (-110)
DATE: September 17, 2017 - 8:30 PM
STAR RATING: 8.0
EXPERT: Will Rogers
EVALUATION: Win (800) - Final Total 57
The set-up: The Packers opened the 2017 season with a solid 17-9 home win over the Seattle Seahawks, while the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons won their season opener 23-17 at Chicago. The two teams meet Sunday night in Atlanta, for the Falcons' first regular season game in their new home, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Packers most recent visit to Atlanta is one the team would rather forget. Green Bay entered last season's NFC conference championship game on an eight-game winning streak but was never in it against Atlanta, falling behind by 24 points at halftime in a 44-21 blowout. "If you're thinking about last year and talking about last year, you're just wasting time and energy," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said. The Falcons will be looking to beat Green Bay for the third time in just 11 months, as they squeezed out a 33-32 victory at home last October on a last-minute TD pass from Matt Ryan
Green Bay: The Packers may have scored just 17 points against the Seahawks in Week 1 but Aaron Rodgers threw for 311 yards (had one TD pass and one INT). RB Ty Montgomery had 93 total yards and a touchdown, while WRs Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson combined for 16 receptions and a score last week. Defensively, the Packers held Seattle to just 225 yards of total offense on 12 FDs (3 for 12 on 3rd down), while getting three sacks and forcing a fumble. Green Bay's offense helped the defense by dominating the T.O.P. battle. 39:13-to-20:47.
Atlanta: While the Packers earned an impressive victory against a fellow NFC powerhouse last week, the Falcons needed Brooks Reed's fourth-and-goal sack to hold off the rebuilding Bears, 23-17. However, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was pleased with the ending, perhaps in no small part because of how his team couldn't hold off the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. "I wasn't disappointed that we had to go all the way to the end," he said. "Those are kind of the finishes that as a coach you hope you can put your team into some of those spots and have some resiliency there at the end. It took all day, for sure." Ryan connected on an 88-yard scoring strike to TE Austin Hooper in the fourth quarter and finished with 321 yards passing in the season opener. However, The backfield tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman was a big disppointment, combined for only 53 yards rushing on 20 carries in Week 1.
The pick: Ryan has put up huge numbers over the past three matchups against the Packers, passing for 1,055 yards with 11 TDs against just one interception (passed for seven TDs and no picks in LY’s pair of wins over GB). WR Julio Jones torched Green Bay in the NFC title game with nine catches for 180 yards and two scores plus had an 11-catch, 259-yard monster performance against the Packers back in 2014. The again. don't expect Rodgers to take a backseat in this matchup. After all, he has a QB rating of 117.0 in seven matchups against Atlanta, throwing for 29 TD passes against two picks. These two teams have combined for at least 65 points in each of the last three meetings (including LY's NFC title game), so why should it be any different here? Make the Over an 8* play.