2015 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

Stephen HillAug 2 08:02p

The Carolina Panthers waived WR Stephen Hill (knee) after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament Sunday, Aug. 2.

Terrelle PryorAug 2 07:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Terrelle Pryor took reps with the first-team offense during training camp Sunday, Aug. 2.

Martavis BryantAug 2 04:22p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (elbow) will undergo a procedure for an elbow infection that will cause him to miss the Hall of Fame Game Sunday, Aug. 9, against [ More ]

Michael EgnewAug 2 03:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released TE Michael Egnew.

Tony McDanielAug 2 12:12p

The Seattle Seahawks released DT Tony McDaniel Sunday, Aug. 2. McDaniel should quickly find a new home.

Stephen HillAug 2 12:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Stephen Hill (knee) has an ACL injury, according to assistant head coach Steve Wilks Sunday, Aug. 2.

Sam BradfordAug 2 11:52a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) has been cleared for 11-on-11 drills Sunday, Aug. 2, and head coach Chip Kelly told reporters the quarterback doesn't have any restrictions.

Stephen HillAug 2 10:12a

The Carolina Panthers signed free-agent WR Paul Browning Sunday, Aug. 2. Browning is expected to take WR Stephen Hill's roster spot.

Brandon BoykinAug 1 08:12p

The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired CB Brandon Boykin from the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday, Aug. 1, in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Eagles could [ More ]

Kyle WilliamsAug 1 02:22p

Denver Broncos WR Kyle Williams (Achilles') suffered at least a partially torn Achilles' tendon in practice Saturday, Aug. 1, according to a source. He may be out for the season.

Melvin GordonAug 1 02:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Melvin Gordon has struggled with pass protection through the first three days of training camp.

Devin SmithJul 31 09:32p

New York Jets WR Devin Smith (ribs) will miss a majority of training camp after suffering broken ribs Friday, July 31, according to the team. He will be held [ More ]

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:42p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland (knee) is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks because of a knee injury he suffered during practice Friday, July 31.

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:22p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Breeland received a citation for marijuana possession last year.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 31 06:22p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) is not allowed to use his injured hand while it is healing from the fireworks accident he had earlier this month. Pierre-Paul [ More ]

Orson CharlesJul 31 06:02p

New Orleans Saints TE Orson Charles has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

Marcus MariotaJul 31 03:52p

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota went 13-for-18 with zero interceptions during team drills at practice Friday, July 31. He was able to use a hard count to make the [ More ]

Jameis WinstonJul 31 12:52p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston was officially named the starting quarterback Friday, July 31, by Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith.

Junior GaletteJul 31 12:12p

Free-agent LB Junior Galette (Saints) will sign a one-year contract with the Washington Redskins, according to a source.

James JonesJul 30 06:52p

Free-agent WR James Jones (Raiders) is signing a one-year deal with the New York Giants. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Cobi HamiltonJul 30 06:42p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Cobi Hamilton was waived Thursday, July 30.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 30 06:42p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) has not reported to training camp as he continues to rehabilitate from a finger injury, much to the dismay of owner John [ More ]

David FluellenJul 30 06:12p

Free-agent RB David Fluellen (Colts) signed with the Tennessee Titans Thursday, July 30.

Tyler EifertJul 30 03:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said he is 100% healthy for the first time since the beginning of last offseason.

LeGarrette BlountJul 30 01:22p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was placed on the Non-Football Injury list because he was not able to complete the conditioning test at the start of training camp. [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 30 01:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) said his hamstrings are fine and that he is 100% healthy entering training camp.

Terrance WestJul 30 12:52p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West worked with the first-team offense during team drills Thursday, July 30. Head coach Mike Pettine said several running backs will see time with the starters during training camp.

Trent RichardsonJul 30 10:22a

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson is rumored to being unimpressive with his new team.

Tom BradyJul 30 10:12a

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's lawsuit was transferred to Manhattan, N.Y., by a Minnesota judge Friday, July 30.

Tom BradyJul 30 09:52a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has filed a lawsuit against the NFL asking a Minnesota federal court for penalties against Brady to be vacated. The suit alleges that [ More ]

Jake LongJul 30 09:42a

Free-agent OT Jake Long (Rams) left his visit with the New York Giants Wednesday, July 29, without a deal. It was his second visit with the team without a [ More ]

Joseph RandleJul 29 08:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle received strong praise from team owner and general manager Jerry Jones Wednesday July 29. 'We have a player (in Randle) that has the potential [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group