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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Packers-Eagles Recap & Packers-Falcons Preview

Ryan Ellerbusch

Dom Capers and the Packers defense made a statement Sunday against the Eagles and showed the rest of their potential NFC competitors that they are not to be wreakened with as I believe they are legit Super Bowl contenders behind such a well-coached and aggressive defense.

However, I would like to see Dom Capers be more aggressive on 3rd down situations in particular, and bring more pressure. The Packers ability on defense to hold late game leads and force turnovers in the clutch has solidified wins in the past two weeks against the Bears and Eagles. The Packers will look to get out to an early lead against the Atlanta Falcons next week and rely on their defense to shut the door in order to keep the 2011 playoff winning streak alive.

Aaron Rodgers played an excellent game but only had 18 passing completions, due in the large part to the breakout playoff performance of rookie James Starks, who carried the ball 23 times for 123 yards. I’m finally glad to see Aaron Rodgers earn himself a playoff win as he continues to establish his legacy in addition to impressing his doubters of his ability to come through in the clutch and win playoff games.

Dropped passes have been a common occurrence in recent games as Greg Jennings and James Jones let balls today slip through their fingers in the cold conditions at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Thankfully for the Packers receiving core, next Saturday’s game against the Falcons will be played indoors, where the Packers lost earlier this season in week 12 by a score of 20-17 in Atlanta.

The key to the NFC Divisional playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday January 15th at 7:00 p.m. will be to stop their running game led by Michael Turner who rushed for 110 yards in the two team’s previous meeting. Keeping the duo of quarterback Matt Ryan and wide-receiver Roddy White in check will be another factor of the game that the Packers will need to prevent on defense. If the Packers can keep up their stellar play on defense and establish the running game like they did on Sunday against Philadelphia, then there should be no reason why the Packers shouldn’t win and move onto the NFC Championship game against either the rival Chicago Bears or the Cinderella storied team in the Seattle Seahawks.

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