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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Saturday Night Football Preview: Falcons' Preview

Players to Watch

Roddy White hopes to do some dancing
this weekend but must beat CB's
Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson
WR Roddy White - Roddy White has had a career year this year, posting 1389 receiving yards on 115 catches.  He will certainly be tested this weekend going up against standout corners in Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson.  QB Matt Ryan is going to have to find a way to get White the ball to keep the Falcons' attack balanced and OLB Clay Mathews out of strictly pass-rush situations.

RB Jason Snelling - Michael Turner had a great year, but a lot of credit is due to his back-up Jason Snelling.  Snelling has been huge out of the backfield this year.  I expect Snelling to have a big game receiving.  If Matt Ryan can go through his progressions effectively, Snelling will catch a lot of checkdown passes as the Packers have very strong corners.

K Matt Bryant - This game will very likely come down to a field goal.  If the Falcons' have the ball last they know they have a good guy to go to in kicker Matt Bryant (he has kicked a couple of game winners this season).

Falcons' Offensive Line and RB's vs. Clay Mathews - Yes, this looks odd pairing 6-7 people against one, but that is exactly the kind of attention that Mathews demands.  According to NFL.com, the Falcons' offensive line ranks fourth at protecting the passer.  However, the Packers have recorded the second highest sack total, and LT Sam Baker has allowed the second most sacks in the NFL.

Why the Falcons will win - Balance.  The Falcons can run and pass the ball, which they need to do to slow down the Packers' pass-rush.  The Packers have had no balance all year (until last week), so if the Falcons can keep the Packers one-dimensional they will win this game.

Prediction - Falcons 27, Packers 24

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