2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things to know after Packers beat Falcons 22-21

By GENARO C. ARMAS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-09 02:33

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Finally, the Packers got the all-around effort they needed to make up for the loss of Aaron Rodgers.

Maybe, just maybe, things are starting to break Green Bay's way after a 22-21 win Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons snapped a five-game winless streak.

Backup Matt Flynn threw for 258 yards and a score in his second straight start, while the defense bounced back with a clutch performance after recent struggles.

With three games left in an injury-filled season, the Packers (6-6-1) stand just a half-game back of the division-leading Detroit Lions, who lost to Philadelphia on Sunday. The Bears (6-6) host the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.

As for Rodgers, he appears to be getting closer to returning from a left collarbone injury he sustained Nov. 4 in a 27-20 loss to Chicago.

''Hopefully he takes another step next week toward getting healthy,'' guard T.J. Lang said. ''But until then, I think Matt's done a nice job.''

Five things to know after Green Bay notched its first win since a 44-31 victory over Minnesota on Oct. 27:

BOUNCING BACK: A smattering of boos cascaded down on the Packers late in the first half, trailing by double digits on a bone-chilling afternoon at Lambeau Field.

Coach Mike McCarthy went into the locker room wondering how much energy his players had with the team's playoff prospects in jeopardy. Green Bay responded with its most complete performance in weeks.

Mason Crosby kicked three field goals. Reserve cornerback Jarrett Bush made two critical plays in the fourth quarter. Flynn cashed in on a Falcons turnover with a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Andrew Quarless with 12:01 left in the game for the 22-21 lead that completed the comeback from an 11-point halftime deficit.

''I really like the football team, particularly at halftime, coming in, getting booed at home, and just the energy in the locker room. They never blinked, they stayed the course,'' McCarthy said.

OUT OF BREATH: The comeback overshadowed an improbable 71-yard interception return for a touchdown by Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon that gave Atlanta a 21-10 lead late in the second quarter.

A pass from Flynn appeared to carom off linebacker Paul Worrilow's shoe and into the hands of Weatherspoon. He lumbered back up the field past Packers who thought the ball touched the ground.

Weatherspoon said he was just doing what he's been coached to do since he was a child.

''Even if it hit the ground, you still have to take that chance,'' he said. ''That's something that started with me a long time ago playing pee-wee ball or whatever.''

GOOD TIMES: The defense responded with a strong performance after an embarrassing 40-10 loss on Thanksgiving Day to Detroit. Of the two offensive touchdowns scored by Atlanta, one came after Flynn lost a fumble at his own 13 after getting sacked.

It came down to defense in a nail-biting fourth quarter.

Mike Neal's sack forced Matt Ryan to fumble, and defensive lineman Johnny Jolly scooped up the loose ball and celebrated with a little belly dance. Quarless scored four plays later.

''We needed to have fun. That's what we did today,'' Jolly said. ''We went out there and left everything that we had and made plays and had fun.''

MISSING OUT: It was 9 degrees when the game started, with a wind chill of minus-1. Still, the Falcons, who play home games at the Georgia Dome, didn't think the weather was a big factor.

Coach Mike Smith was more concerned about the missed opportunities.

Matt Bryant missed a 52-yard field goal attempt into the wind with 6:42 left. The Falcons got to the 33 with 2 minutes left, but Tony Gonzalez dropped a short pass from Ryan under tight coverage by Bush.

''We can't talk about one specific play that was the difference,'' Smith said. ''We had our chances to make some plays in all three phases and we didn't.''

Just another loss in a frustrating season for Atlanta.

TIGHT PLAYS: Found in the Packers offense: the tight ends.

Until Sunday, Green Bay didn't get much production from the position since Jermichael Finley sustained a season-ending neck injury in October.

Quarless (six catches, 66 yards) had his best day of the year, while Brandon Bostick (two catches, 28 yards) also got into the mix. The passing game had more diversity and didn't have to rely as much on receivers Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jarrett Boykin.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Steven JacksonDec 22 09:33a

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson (quadriceps) is expected to be ready for Week 17.

Mark SanchezDec 22 08:43a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez will start in Week 17 against the New York Giants instead of QB Matt Barkley, according to head coach Chip Kelly.

Johnny ManzielDec 22 03:33a

The Cleveland Browns may look to upgrade the quarterback position in the offseason despite the presence of QB Johnny Manziel. League sources have said Browns general manger Ray Farmer [ More ]

Aaron RodgersDec 22 12:02a

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (calf) tweaked his calf in the Week 16 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but said Sunday, Dec. 21, that he expects to [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Dec 21 09:13p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. posted eight receptions for 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Week 16 game against the St. Louis Rams. He [ More ]

Alameda Ta'amuDec 21 07:42p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared DL Alameda Ta'amu, OG Anthony Steen, WR Brittan Golden, SS Chris D. Clemons, QB Drew Stanton, OG Jonathan Cooper, DL Kareem Martin inactive for Week 16.

Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Matthew StaffordDec 21 05:12p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford completed 22 of 39 passes for 243 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in the Week 16 game against the Chicago Bears. He [ More ]

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is receiving trade interest from the Tennessee Titans. If the Titans landed him, it would alter the 2015 NFL Draft board dramatically.

T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will play Sunday, Dec. 21, but the team is nervous how well he'll hold up in pass protection. If the team qualifies for [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group