Shorthanded Packers lose heartbreaker to Falcons
From Mike Spofford, Packers.com
ATLANTA – Matt Ryan’s TD pass to Mohamed Sanu with 31 seconds left lifted the Falcons to a 33-32 victory over the Packers on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.
The see-saw affair did not go Green Bay’s way at the end, and the Packers fell to 4-3 on the season.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers completed 28-of-38 passes for 246 yards with four touchdowns. He also led the Packers with 60 yards rushing. WR Davante Adams had 12 catches for 74 yards, and WR Jordy Nelson added four grabs for 94 and a TD.
Ryan as 28-of-35 for 288 yards with three TDs, with Sanu catching nine passes for 84 yards and the game-winning score.
Here’s the recap of the action:
Green Bay’s defense had its best sequence of the game to start the fourth quarter, as DTMike Daniels and LB Julius Peppers sacked QB Matt Ryan on back-to-back plays, leading to a punt. Packers S Kentrell Brice was called for a facemask penalty on the punt return, though, pushing the offense back to its own 14 to start the next drive.
The Packers got going again on an 11-yard scramble by QB Aaron Rodgers and an 11-yard reception by WR Davante Adams. Rodgers then hit WR Geronimo Allison for 17 yards for a first down across midfield.
After FB Aaron Ripkowski carried twice for 7 yards, Rodgers scrambled for 13 more for a first down on the Atlanta 24. A pass of 6 yards to WR Jeff Janis set up third-and-4, and the Packers caught the Falcons with 12 players on the field, thanks to a successful replay challenge. That made it first down on the Atlanta 13. Ripkowski carried twice for 6 yards, and then Rodgers found WR Jeff Janis in the back of the end zone for a 7-yard TD with 3:58 left.
The Packers went for two points, and Rodgers ran a play-action keeper for the score, putting the Packers ahead, 32-26.
The Falcons got started with passes of 9 yards to WR Mohamed Sanu and 13 yards to WR Justin Hardy. Packers CB LaDarius Gunter nearly had an interception on a pass for Sanu, but the Falcons then gained 8 yards on a screen pass to RB Devonta Freeman. Ryan hit Sanu for 12 to move the chains and make it first down on the Green Bay 33, and there was an injury timeout for Gunter.
Ryan hit Sanu again for 9 yards to the 24, taking it to the two-minute warning, and Gunter returned to the Green Bay huddle. A short pass of 1 to Freeman picked up the first down, and a 9-yard pass to Sanu made it third-and-1 on the 14. A 3-yard pass to TE Austin Hooper moved the chains again for first down on the 11 as the clock ran under a minute left.
Ryan then found Sanu in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard TD with 31 seconds to go, and K Matt Bryant’s extra point put the Falcons up, 33-32.
The Packers couldn’t pick up a first down on their final desperation drive, and that was it.
The Falcons headed into the fourth quarter with a 26-24 lead over the Packers on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.
The Packers got across midfield on their first drive of the third quarter, as QB Aaron Rodgers scrambled for 8 yards and FB Aaron Ripkowski rumbled for 12. But Falcons DE Adrian Clayborn sacked Rodgers on third-and-6, forcing a punt.
The Falcons drove right back down the field. A 10-yard pass to WR Taylor Gabriel moved the chains and a 26-yard run by RB Terron Ward got Atlanta into scoring territory. Four more running plays in a row picked up 14 yards, and then QB Matt Ryan found Ward all alone on third-and-6 from the 12. Ward took it all the way to the 1 for first-and-goal, and on third down, RB Devonta Freeman scored to put Atlanta back on top.
K Matt Bryant’s PAT made it 26-24 Falcons with 3:31 left in the period. The Atlanta drive covered 80 yards in 14 plays and consumed 7:31 on the clock.
Two receptions by WR Davante Adams picked up 21 yards and got the Packers near midfield again, but a run and short pass lost yardage, and Clayborn got his second sack of the quarter on the final play on third down, forcing the Packers to punt.
The track meet continued in the second quarter at the Georgia Dome on Sunday, and the first half ended with the Packers ahead, 24-19.
Beginning the quarter on the Atlanta 24, the Packers took it in for the score. A 10-yard reception by RB Knile Davis followed by a 9-yard catch-and-run by WR Trevor Davismade it first-and-goal. On third down, QB Aaron Rodgers found rookie WR Geronimo Allison for a 4-yard TD to put the Packers back on top, 14-10. It was Allison’s first NFL reception.
The Falcons once again came right back. A 24-yard pass interference penalty on CB LaDarius Gunter covering WR Julio Jones got the drive started, and a 10-yard run by RB Terron Ward plus an 11-yard reception by WR Mohamed Sanu got the Falcons into field-goal range. The Packers got back-to-back tackles for loss on running plays to set up third-and-long, and Jones was tackled after a 5-yard reception by Gunter. K Matt Bryant came on to make a 40-yard field goal, pulling the Falcons within 14-13 with 8:52 left in the half.
The Packers went three-and-out, producing the first punt of the game. Rodgers was sacked on third down by LB Vic Beasley.
The Falcons then went three-and-out as well, with CB Demetri Goodson breaking up a third-down pass. Atlanta’s punt was returned by Davis 55 yards to the Atlanta 15, putting the Packers in the red zone.
After a defensive holding penalty on the Falcons made it first-and-goal on the 7, the Packers caught a break. Adams caught a short pass but fumbled, and the ball went out of bounds before the Falcons could recover it. On the next snap, a scrambling Rodgers found Davis just inside the far pylon for a diving 9-yard TD catch, and the Packers led 21-13 with 4:22 left in the half.
The Falcons got moving again. Passes of 9 yards to RB Devonta Freeman and 14 yards to TE Austin Hooper preceded a roughing-the-passer penalty on DE Datone Jones. An 11-yard pass to WR Taylor Gabriel and a 5-yard run by Ward put the ball on the Green Bay 22 at the two-minute warning.
A 17-yard pass to Hooper made it first-and-goal on the 5, and Freeman finished it with a 5-yard TD catch. QB Matt Ryan was sacked on the two-point try by LB Julius Peppers, making the score 21-19 Packers with 27 seconds left.
Rodgers scrambled for 23 yards on the first play of the ensuing drive, and he hit WR Jordy Nelson over the middle for a juggling catch, good for 21 yards to the Atlanta 31. The Packers called their second timeout of the half with 9 seconds left. FB Aaron Ripkowski took a handoff for 9 yards, and the Falcons were flagged for a late hit, putting the ball on the 11 with 4 seconds left.
K Mason Crosby was good from 29 yards out on the final play of the half, putting the Packers up, 24-19.
ATLANTA – Both teams moved the ball up and down the field to start Sunday’s game at the Georgia Dome, and the Falcons took a 10-7 lead into the second period with the Packers driving for another score.
The Falcons got on the board first. A 14-yard pass to WR Mohamed Sanu and a 10-yard scramble by QB Matt Ryan picked up two first downs. After back-to-back illegal formation penalties on Atlanta, TE Jacob Tamme gained 13 yards on third-and-14, and he injured his shoulder on the play (return questionable).
On fourth-and-1, the Falcons went for it and an outside pitch to RB Devonta Freeman fooled Green Bay’s defense for a 17-yard gain, but the Packers held there. A deflected pass by LBNick Perry and a solid tackle by CB Demetri Goodson on third down led to a 36-yard field goal by K Matt Bryant for a 3-0 Atlanta lead.
The Packers quickly answered. After RB Don Jackson picked up a first down with a 7-yard run, QB Aaron Rodgers hit WR Jordy Nelson deep for a 58-yard gain to the Atlanta 7. Two plays later, Rodgers found Nelson again for a 5-yard TD, and the Packers took a 7-3 lead with 6:08 left in the quarter.
The Falcons needed just three plays to answer right back. A pair of passes to WR Julio Jones picked up 24 yards, and then WR Taylor Gabriel went deep. Ryan’s perfect throw beat CB Demetri Goodson, and the 47-yard TD pass put the Falcons back up, 10-7.
The Packers got right back on the move. Passes to Nelson for 10, WR Davante Adams for 10, WR Trevor Davis for 6, and WR Jeff Janis for 10 put the Packers on the Atlanta 35.
After a loss of 6 on a shovel pass and a false-start penalty, Rodgers hit Adams coming out of the backfield for 22 yards to pick up a first down at the Atlanta 24 as the quarter expired.