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GREEN BAY Josh Jackson Color Rush Jersey , Wis. — How fortunes have changed in less than two years for the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers.The participants in the NFC title game in January 2017 are floundering this season. The Packers have already fired head coach Mike McCarthy.More Packers coverage from FOX Sports WisconsinPhotos of the Week: 7/21/19 – 7/27/19Packers rookie Gary’s biggest critic is himselfTop Tweets: Former Badger TJ Watt has impressive four-year transformationPHOTOS: 2019 Green Bay Packers training campPackers’ Rodgers, LaFleur ironing out offense, building chemistryFalcons owner Arthur Blank reaffirmed support for his coach, Dan Quinn, after a four-game losing streak dropped the team out of the playoff picture.The game between the Falcons (4-8) and Packers (4-7-1) on Sunday at Lambeau Field was once circled on the NFL calendar as a potential matchup between contenders jockeying for a home game in the playoffs.Instead, it’s turned into a matchup between disappointing teams each trying to avoid a losing season.“I think what you want to do when you go through a difficult stretch is you want to make sure you take the lessons first, and when you do that, there’s something that you have to gain,” Quinn said. “Sometimes you don’t like to admit it, but that’s where the learning takes place the most.”It sounds a lot like what the Packers are going through at Lambeau, where the future is clouded by uncertainty.Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin took over as interim head coach after McCarthy was fired following the stunning 20-17 loss last week to the lowly Arizona Cardinals.A coaching veteran with a dry sense of humor, Philbin has delivered simple messages at a time of upheaval.“I told the offense, we’ve got to block, we’ve got to throw and catch, we’ve got to run hard with the ball. That’s really ultimately what wins games,” Philbin said. “Schemes are important, but not as important as playing guys together and playing with great effort and playing fundamentally sound. That’s really the focus.”The Packers have lost three straight and five of six. They need lots of help to get into the postseason even if they can somehow win their last four games.“I think everybody’s kind of realizing that we’re all under the microscope even more. Who knows what the changes are going to be after the season,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “So I feel like the energy was good today. Unfortunately the urgency that you need early in the season, we kind of had out in practice today.”Other notes and things to watch:10<button class="view-gallery">View Gallery</button> GalleryTongueotential head coaching candidates for the PackersRODGERS RECORD WATCHAt least the game could be worth watching for the quarterback play. Rodgers’ 61.8 percent completion rate this year is his lowest since 2015 (60.7 percent), though he has thrown just one interception all season. Rodgers has thrown a franchise-record 336 attempts without an interception, trailing only New England’s Tom Brady (358 in 2010-11) for longest such stretch in league history.THIRD-QUARTER BLUESOne of the Falcons’ goals for the week is to jump-start their abysmal third-quarter scoring. Atlanta has been outscored 71-34 in third quarters, including 6-0 in last week’s 26-16 loss to Baltimore. The Falcons ran only five plays and held the ball less than two minutes in the quarter. By contrast, the Falcons’ 115 second-quarter points and 107 fourth-quarter points rank among the top five in the league.CALLING PLAYSPhilbin https://www.thepackersfanshop.com/Montra...ams-Jersey , the former Dolphins head coach in his second stint as a Packers assistant, has extensive experience coaching and putting together offensive game plans. But the previous time that Philbin called plays was when he was a college assistant at Northeastern in 1995-96. He’ll assume those duties again on Sunday since McCarthy was the play-caller in Green Bay. Of course, the Packers also have a veteran at quarterback in Rodgers who is often at his best out of the pocket when a play breaks down.WELCOME BACKThe Falcons have lost eight players to injured reserve this season, including long snapper Josh Harris this week. They finally had a key starter return from IR last week when linebacker Deion Jones set a career high with 15 tackles and a sack against the Ravens. Jones missed 10 games after suffering a broken right foot in the opener against Philadelphia. Jones’ 15 tackles were the most by a Falcons player this season.RUN TIMEThe Falcons have the NFL’s worst rushing attack, averaging just 79 yards a game. They were held to 34 on the ground last week against Baltimore , a week after a season-low 26 against the Saints.“When we’re at our best, we’re running the football and we’re able to create play-action passes,” quarterback Matt Ryan said.This might be the week they get things going. Green Bay allowed a season-high 182 yards on the ground to the Cardinals last week, who have the league’s second-worst rushing offense.7<button class="view-gallery">View Gallery</button> Gallery:Upon Further Review: Packers vs. CardinalsAP | Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.—ATLANTA (4-8) at GREEN BAY (4-7-1)SUNDAY, 1 p.m. ET, FoxOPENING LINE — Packers by 6 1/2RECORD VS. SPREAD — Atlanta 3-9, Green Bay 4-7-1SERIES RECORD — Packers lead 17-16LAST MEETING — Falcons beat Packers 34-23, Sept. 17, 2017LAST WEEK — Falcons lost to Ravens 26-16; Packers lost to Cardinals 20-17AP PRO32 RANKING — Falcons No. 23, Packers No. 21FALCONS OFFENSE — OVERALL (10), RUSH (32), PASS (5)FALCONS DEFENSE — OVERALL (26), RUSH (27), PASS (25)PACKERS OFFENSE — OVERALL (8), RUSH (21), PASS (6)PACKERS DEFENSE — OVERALL (13), RUSH (25), PASS (6)STREAKS Jake Ryan Jersey , STATS AND NOTES —Meeting between now struggling participants of NFC title game in 2016 season won by Falcons. … Atlanta has won three straight in series. … Previous meeting was in Atlanta for Falcons’ first win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. … QB Matt Ryan third in NFL with 3,814 yards passing. Ryan has 124.9 rating with 12 TDs and one INT in last four against Packers, including playoffs. … RB Ito Smith second among NFC rookies with four rushing TDs. … WR Julio Jones leads NFL with 1,323 yards receiving. … LB Deion Jones had career-high 15 tackles and sack last week, returning after missing 10 games due to injury. … Defense 31st in NFL against third downs (51 percent). … Packers led by interim head coach Joe Philbin for first time following firing of Mike McCarthy. … Also offensive coordinator, Philbin calling plays for first time in 16 NFL seasons. … QB Aaron Rodgers has thrown franchise record 336 attempts without INT, trailing only Patriots QB Tom Brady (358 in 2010-11) for longest such stretch in league history. … Offense 26th in league in third-down situations (35.6 percent) … RB Aaron Jones second in NFL with 5.73 yards per carry average. Jones’ six TDs since Week 10 tied with Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey for most in league in that span. … WR Davante Adams tied for second in NFL with 11 TD catches. … LB Blake Martinez has NFC-high 106 tackles. … Fantasy tip: TE Jimmy Graham coming off game with season-high eight catches for 50 yards. Graham also had 11 targets against Cardinals, tying season high. The Green Bay Packers used the 2018 NFL draft in large part to bolster a weakened defense and add some depth to their wide receiver position.The Packers used their first three picks on defense — the first two on cornerbacks — and on Day 3 selected three wide receivers.More Packers coveragePhotos of the Week: 7/21/19 – 7/27/19Packers rookie Gary’s biggest critic is himselfTop Tweets: Former Badger TJ Watt has impressive four-year transformationPHOTOS: 2019 Green Bay Packers training campPackers’ Rodgers, LaFleur ironing out offense, building chemistryTop pick Jaire Alexander ended up playing the third-most snaps on defense, 760 (71.43 percent). But keep in mind the rookie cornerback missed three games and exited his final game in Week 15 after playing only one-third of the snaps. Alexander played every snap from Week 8-14 with the exception of one game, against Miami in Week 9 when he was in on 86.8 percent of the plays. Alexander finished second on the team in tackles with 66 and led in passes defensed with 11.Second-round pick Josh Jackson was sixth in defensive snaps, but only played every snap in a game one time — against the Dolphins. Playing in all 16 games, Jackson finished sixth on the team in tackles while ending up second in passes defensed, with 10.On the flip side, third-round pick Oren Burks was supposed to be a part of Green Bay’s linebacker rotation, however he had more than double the amount of special teams snaps than on defense (254 to 122). Injuries slowed Burks’ start to the season, but in Weeks 4-6 he played 20, 25 and 28 snaps on defense. Thereafter, the linebacker out of Vanderbilt had double-digit snaps on defense just once (15 in Week 8 at New England) and four times didn’t even see the field with that unit.On offense, Green Bay’s trio of rookie wide receivers were supposed to just provide depth … and then that depth was needed. With Geronimo Allison (241 snaps, 22.44 percent) and Randall Cobb (466, 43.39 percent) suffering injuries Lance Kendricks Color Rush Jersey , the newcomers had to be called on.Surprisingly, the top pick among the three — fourth-round pick J’Mon Moore — played the least, by far. Moore got some early playing time receiving a combined 42 snaps on offense in Weeks 4-6, but had just 74 offensive snaps on the season (16 of those coming in the regular-season finale).Instead it was fifth-round pick Marquez Valdes-Scantling, chosen 39 picks after Moore, who had the second-most offensive snaps among the wide receivers (691, 64.34 percent). His 38 catches tied for third-highest on the Packers while his 581 receiving yards were third. Valdes-Scantling averaged 15.3 yards per catch, second on the team among those with at least five receptions.First on that list was sixth-round pick Equanimeous St. Brown at 15.6 yards per catch. Despite missing four games, the rookie from Notre Dame appeared in one-third of Green Bay’s offensive plays this season. He had 21 receptions for 328 yards.<em>Other notes from the 2018 season’s snap counts:</em>— For the second straight season, center Corey Linsley was the only Packer to appear in every snap, either on offense or defense.— The Packers made two big splashes in free agency in the offseason. Tight end Jimmy Graham played 795 offensive snaps (74.02 percent). He had just 55 catches — his lowest total since his rookie season in 2010 — for 636 yards while tying a career-low with two touchdowns. Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson was injured early in the season and appeared in just 115 defensive snaps (10.81 percent).— Besides the rookies mentioned above, two other first-year players got a lot of playing time late in the season. Defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster, an undrafted free agent, played in at least half the defensive snaps in every game but one over the final five games. Overall, Lancaster played in 25.47 percent of Green Bay’s defensive snaps on the season and had 25 tackles (or, two more than Burks). Wide receiver Jake Kumerow played in 11 snaps combined on offense in Weeks 13 and 14, then 21 (30.9 percent) at Chicago in Week 15, 57 (63.3 percent) at the New York Jets in Week 16 and 47 snaps (83.9 percent) in the final game vs. Detroit. Kumerow finished with eight catches on 11 targets for 103 yards and a TD.— Aaron Jones led the Packers in rushing with 728 yards while Jamaal Williams was second with 464. Jones had just 376 offensive snaps (35.01 percent); Williams had 522 (48.60 percent).— 35-year-old cornerback/safety Tramon Williams led the defense in snaps. This was probably not ideal.— Linebacker Antonio Morrison was acquired from Indianapolis for defensive back Lenzy Pipkins. Morrison played in 299 defensive snaps (28.10 percent). Pipkins played in just one game for the Colts before being waived and claimed by Detroit.— Sidelined by injuries again, last year’s top pick (in the second round) cornerback Kevin King played in just six games and had 304 defensive snaps (28.57 percent).OFFENSEPLAYERPlays (1074)%Linsley1074100.00%Bakhtiari103196.00%Rodgers101294.23%Adams95388.73%Taylor88182.03%Graham79574.02%Bulaga78172.72%Valdes-Scantling69164.34%Bell52749.07%Williams52248.60%McCray48044.69%Cobb46643.39%Jones37635.01%St. Brown35833.33%Kendricks31429.24%Spriggs29127.09%Patrick27825.88%Allison24122.44%Lewis19017.69%Montgomery15013.97%Kumerow13612.66%Moore746.89%Tonyan676.24%Kizer625.77%Light262.42%Vitale191.77%Bibbs171.58%Lazard10.09%Pankey10.09%DEFENSEPLAYERPlays (1064)%Williams105999.53%Martinez104998.59%Alexander76071.43%Matthews75671.05%Clark72067.67%Jackson71867.48%Lowry69765.51%Brice64660.71%Fackrell62358.55%Jones50147.09%Gilbert48645.68%Clinton-Dix45943.14%Daniels41939.38%Breeland33031.02%King30428.57%Perry30228.38%Morrison29928.10%T. Brown28726.97%Lancaster27125.47%Whitehead22120.77%Adams21219.92%Burks12211.47%Wilkerson11510.81%Campbell11210.53%Pleasant868.08%Greene434.04%F. Brown393.67%House292.73%Looney191.79%Toomer121.13%Redmond40.38%Crawford10.09%
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