The Atlanta Falcons had played their best football of the season over the past two weeks against the New Orleans Saints and Buffalo Bills. The Falcons were looking to keep the momentum rolling as they traveled up to Lambeau Field for their Week 14 game against the Green Bay Packers. Matt Ryan lead the offense down the field in a timely manner, but the Falcons were forced to punt on their first drive instead of kicking a field goal due to the cold weather. Backup quarterback Matt Flynn and the Packers then marched their way into the end zone on an amazing 18 play, 86 yard drive which took up 9 minutes and the rest of the first quarter.
Even though it lead to a victory last week, the Falcons were determined to stay within one score and not go down 14-0. Steven Jackson started the drive by finding multiple holes and was able to run for a 22 yard gain. Ryan again marched the Falcons into Green Bay territory and was able to deliver a strike to Drew Davis who avoided multiple defenders and found the end zone for a 36 yard TD.
On the very next play, William Moore forced his second fumble in as many weeks and the ball was recovered by rookie defensive end Malliciah Goodman, giving the Falcons the ball deep in Packers territory. A few minutes later, future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez was in the end zone giving the Falcons a 14-7 lead in the 2nd quarter.
Flynn proceeded to lead the Packers to a field goal while the Falcons punted on their next drive. The next series for the Packers featured one of the craziest plays you will ever see. Flynn’s pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage and then was kicked by linebacker Paul Worrilow and the ball then floated into Sean Weatherspoon’s hands. After what seemed like an eternity, Spoon found his was into the end zone for his first career pick 6 and gave the Falcons a 21-10 lead going into halftime. This gave the team all of the momentum going into the second half and a win seemed almost inevitable.
However, the Packers defense came out with a sense of urgency for the final two quarters and were able to keep the Falcons out of the end zone. After two Mason Crosby field goals in the third quarter, the Packers were able to cut the Falcons lead down to 21-16.
In the fourth quarter, the Falcons had their opportunities but could not capitalize. Key drops by Tony Gonzalez, Steven Jackson, and Harry Douglas would prove to be costly for the Falcons on Sunday. Matt Flynn took advantage and found Andrew Quarless for a touchdown to give the Packers a 22-21 lead. Matt Bryant then missed a 52 yard field goal by inches that would have given the Falcons a two point lead late in the fourth quarter. The Falcons had two late opportunities to score, but Ryan’s final pass was intercepted and the Packers were able to come away with a 22-21 victory.
The Falcons fell to 3-10, but can be proud of what they were able to accomplish this game. Paul Worrilow continues to shine for the Falcons’ defense and is no doubt going to be an incredible player for many years to come. Fellow rookie Zeke Motta stepped in when Thomas DeCoud left with a head injury and had a very successful game. It is clear that the Falcons are playing with more pride each week. Even though the season has not gone the way that the team hoped it would, it is going to serve as a great learning experience for everyone involved and this team will come out and have a great season next year.