5 things to know before today’s Packers at Falcons’ kickoff

 

90714 ATLANTA: Falcons kicker Matt Bryant hits a field goal in overtime to beat the Saints 37-34 in their NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Atlanta. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

90714 ATLANTA: Falcons kicker Matt Bryant hits a field goal in overtime to beat the Saints 37-34 in their NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Atlanta. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Here are 5 things to mull over before today’s 4:25 p.m. kickoff between the Green Bay Packers (4-2) and the Atlanta Falcons (4-3)  at the Georgia Dome.

1. Tale of the tape. Here’s how the Falcons and Packers stack up statistically:

2016 Regular Season Statistics Rankings
Falcons                                                     Packers
32.7 (1)      Points/Game                         23.3 (14)
433.6 (1)    Total Offense                       344.2 (21)
114.6 (14)   Net Rushing Yards/Game 104.8 (19)
319.0 (2)    Net Passing Yards/Game 239.3 (20)
29:36 (24) Possession Average              31:36 (5)
29.4 (27)    Opponent Points/Game    20.5 (11t)
386.1 (26) Opponent Total Offense     314.0 (7)
91.9 (9)      Opp. Rushing Yards/Game   71.8 (1)
294.3 (31) Opp. Passing Yards/Game 242.2 (15)
+2 (11t)      Turnover Differential              -2 (19t)

2. Series record. This will be the 28TH regular-season meeting. The Packers lead the series 15-12. The Packers won the last meeting 43-37 on Dec. 8, 2014 at Lambeau Field. The Packers fell behind 14-0, but came back to win 25-14 in the last meeting at the Georgia Dome on Oct. 9, 2011.

3. Key matchup. Packers running backs Knile Davis and Don Jackson vs. Falcons middle linebacker  Deion Jones. The Packers are thin at running back after a rash of injuries. They made a trade with the Chiefs to land Davis, a former third-round pick. The Packers are desperate to get some kind of rushing attack established. Jones is second on the team with 41 tackles.

4. Hard counts. The Falcons want to remain disciplined with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers tries to trick them into jumping offsides with his hard counts.  The Falcons want to play aggressive, but they need to cut down on their penalties. In Rodgers’ last three games vs. Falcons (inc. playoffs) he’s 3-0, has completed 81 of 111 passes (72.9 percent) for 1,089 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions.

5. Record book. Falcons kicker Matt Bryant will set a new franchise scoring record with four points on Sunday.

The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and Noah Coslov get into the area the Falcons need to repair immediately. Plus, they update the RB situation and what defenses are doing to WR Julio Jones.

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