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No relief in sight for Falcons as red-hot Packers await on Monday night

Jason Owens
·2-min read

The Atlanta Falcons are in the midst of an unprecedented freefall.

In Week 2, they drummed up painful reminders of 28-3 in a stunning collapse against the Dallas Cowboys. They opened up a 20-0 lead in the first quarter and maintained a 39-24 advantage with less than six minutes remaining in the game.

And they blew it. The Cowboys rallied to a 40-39 win capped by an extraordinary Falcons special teams blunder on a pivotal onside kick that set Dallas up for the game-winning field goal.

It was a defeat that would mark the low point of many NFL seasons.

But the Falcons ran it back again in Week 3.

Not again, Falcons

This time, they opened a 26-10 fourth-quarter lead over the Chicago Bears. Bears head coach Matt Nagy benched quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. After an 0-2 start marked by Week 2’s disaster in Dallas, the Falcons were on their way to a win against a quality opponent.

Except they allowed 20 unanswered fourth-quarter points on three touchdowns from backup and career journeyman Nick Foles in a 30-26 loss. Some wondered if head coach Dan Quinn would survive the day with his job.

He did. But things aren’t about to get any easier.

Are the Packers legitimate contenders?

The now 0-3 Falcons face a Monday night matchup against one of the NFL’s hottest teams led by a future Hall of Fame quarterback playing in peak form when they visit Aaron Rodgers and the 3-0 Green Bay Packers. The game can be watched on the Yahoo Sports app.

Accounts of Aaron Rodgers' decline were wildly overstated. (Brad Rempel, Reuters)
Accounts of Aaron Rodgers' decline were wildly overstated. (Brad Rempel, Reuters)

Aaron Rodgers is back

While Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes are rightfully on the receiving end of waves of admiration for their offensive firepower, the 36-year-old Rodgers has been quietly putting up numbers that rival the best of his career.

Through three games, he’s connected on 67 percent of his pass attempts and averaged 296 passing yards while tallying nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. He’s done it largely without the services of No. 1 receiver Davante Adams, who suffered a Week 2 hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for Week 3.

The Packers put up 43, 42 and 37 points in wins over the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints in the process. The decline of Rodgers was wildly overstated. The Packers are legitimate contenders.

The Falcons are a mess. But they have firepower and a top-10 offense. Former MVP Matt Ryan is throwing for 320 yards a game and has one of the league’s top tandems at wide receiver by his side in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.

Will it be enough to compete on Monday?

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