By Darrell Baker
ATLANTA – Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons got off to a hot start in their new home against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday night in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It took just nine plays for the Falcons to show its fans in primetime that there’s no Super Bowl hangover with Matt Ryan finding Julio Jones early for 19-yard and 34-yard catches on their first scoring drive of the game. Devonta Freeman would cap off the drive with a 1-yard run to strike first against their NFL Championships opponents from last season.
The Falcons were equally efficient and quite successful at putting the clamps on the Packers run offense, making sure that every time that Ty Montgomery had the ball, he’d know that rushing yards wouldn’t be handed out for free. Montgomery could only muster just 14-yards and a 1-yard touchdown run for his efforts in the first half of the game.
As the Packers were trying to find out what could jumpstart their offense, Matt Ryan would lead another scoring drive that included a short 24-yard pass to Mohamed Sanu and another short 2-yard run from the goal by Devonta Freeman behind the right side of the offensive line for his second touchdown of the night giving the Falcons a 14-7 lead and after a 51-yard field goal by Matt Bryant and another touchdown catch by Tevin Coleman, after an interception by Desmond Trufant with 47 seconds left in the half, the Falcons looked set for easy street at the start of the third quarter with a 24-7 lead.
The Falcons defense set out to pressure and harass Aaron Rodgers all night with that consistency showing just at the start of the third quarter with the defense as Vic Beasley Jr, smashed Rodgers as he throws a wobbly backward pass that was picked up by Desmond Trufant who zigzagged to the end zone for a defensive touchdown, making it 31-7.
The Packers would finally jumpstart and make a few scores in the fourth quarter but it was just three quarters to late as the Falcons take the win 34-23, starting off their season at 2-0.
Milestones: Matt Bryant’s first field goal of the night was his 200th of his career. He joined the Falcons in 2009.
Aaron Rodgers first toucddown pass was his 300th of his career.