The Falcons host the Packers in an exciting Week 2 matchup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium between two teams that are coming off double-digit victories against division rivals.
This will be a fantastic litmus test for Arthur Smith’s squad. The Falcons are over .500 for the first time since 2017, but a win over the Panthers isn’t something to get too excited about. A victory over the Packers… that’s an entirely different story.
Like the Panthers, the Packers feature a stout defense that made life difficult for Justin Fields. If the Falcons plan to move to 2-0, they are going to have to show more than they did in Week 1, particularly offensively. Desmond Ridder must be better, along with the offensive line, and Arthur Smith has to trust his offensive unit to push the ball downfield.
However, the biggest difference between the Packers and Panthers lies on the offensive side of the ball. Regardless of whether Aaron Jones is healthy or not, Matt LaFleur is going to lean on his running game — which like Arthur Smith — is one of the most creative in the game. He is going to continuously attempt to fool the Falcons defense with different sets, motions, and misdirection — a much different test than last week.
The Packers also won’t be afraid to push the ball downfield like the Panthers were last week. It’s far from the most daunting passing attack in the league, but Jordan Love showed some chops against the Bears, and LaFleur won’t allow for his offense to become one dimensional.
On the latest episode of SportsTalkATL, we discuss the matchup between the Falcons and Packers this upcoming Sunday and what the keys will be for Atlanta to move to 2-0. You can find full episodes of SportsTalkATL on the Fox Local App, available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. Segments like the one below are also available on our YouTube channel.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire