Playoff six pack: Matty Ice likes the Ice

Who wants to hit the sled? (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Who wants to hit the sled? (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completed 24 of 28 passes in the team’s previous game against the Packers, but averaged only 5.9 yards per pass play.

The Packers’ zone-blitz package forced Ryan to get the ball out quickly.

“There are certain things you have to adjust to quicker compared to other defenses you get,” Ryan said. “There’s a lot of different looks that you get, but with that said, you don’t want to be out there playing too fast. As a quarterback, sometimes that can hurt you.”

The Packers sacked Ryan twice in the previous game. The Falcons spent part of their bye week working on zone-blitz looks in order to make sure there were no free runners to the quarterback.

Here’s today’s playoff six-pack:

  1. Falcons get biggest bang for their playoff buck

  2. INJURY REPORT: Owens could take over at nickel back

  3. Mike Smith, Mike Mularkey lauded by The Sporting News
  4. Key matchup: Packers’ run offense vs. Falcons’ run defense

  5. Ticket market weakens for Falcons’ game

  6. Two-minute drill: Q&A with Curtis Lofton

–D. Orlando Ledbetter

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85 comments Add your comment

Tommy Nobis

January 12th, 2011
10:04 pm

Tommy Nobis

January 12th, 2011
10:05 pm

Good Luck Falcons, make Atlanta proud.

Reid Adair

January 12th, 2011
10:13 pm

I have no doubt that Matt Ryan has many notes from the first Green Bay game, and he will make the necessary adjustments.

throw the ball

January 12th, 2011
10:21 pm

I hope we throw the ball downfield when Green Bay stacks the line. I have a hunch that they’ve studied the New Orleans MNF tape very closely. I hope Mularkey makes the necessary adjustments this time or we’ll be 1 and done and it would be so sad.

Treme

January 12th, 2011
10:38 pm

It will be sad!! It will be really sad to have come this far and not get that ring and the Lombardi Trophy. Oh well at least atlanta has finally had what 3 winning seasons in a row. WOW what an accomplishment. Still no ring though.

Frozen Rope

January 12th, 2011
11:02 pm

This Falcons team is as good as anyone… Lets Do This!

Steve C

January 12th, 2011
11:10 pm

All,

If you have been reading as much football stuff as I have this week, one thing stands out: according to the media, Aaron Rodgers is the next Dan Marino, even though his season stats are as follows, and Matt Ryan’s follow those:

Rogers – 3,922 yards passing, 28 TD’s, 11 int, 65.7 comp %, 101.2 QB rating
Ryan – 3,705 yards passing, 28 TD’s, 9 int, 62.5 comp %, 91.0 QB rating

Not a big difference is there? Why, I ask, is Rodgers being anointed “The Next Great One” while Ryan is an afterthought?? It should be noted that Atlanta rushed the ball about 440 times to 339 for Green Bay (this excludes Rodgers’ and Ryan’s own rushes) so it stands to reason that Rodgers should have a few more passing yards than Ryan purely because Atlanta rushed the ball 101 more times.

The NFL and the networks are DYING to see a Green Bay – Chicago NFC championship game, and I will not be surprised to see a call or two go against the Falcons this Saturday based purely on the media blitz trying to anoint Rodgers and Green Bay before the game is even played.

chickenman

January 13th, 2011
12:17 am

MATTY ICE = MVP. GO FALCONS!

Singletary

January 13th, 2011
1:34 am

Does anyone remember if Snelling was out during the last Pack game? If so, that would give us more diversity in the run game. I also like those check-down passes to Ovie. He just gets so excited to have the ball, he blows by defenders such that they can hardly scrape his thighs.

GHunt

January 13th, 2011
1:52 am

Regular season stats will not win this game. This is the playoffs. The two teams are almost evenly matched. The Falcons will win this game because they want it more than the Pack does. Smart play selections and fewer mistakes will decide this contest. The Birds will “Rise Up”.

aaron rodgers

January 13th, 2011
3:28 am

failcons will get get crushed, our offense is better and our defense is better(special teams is your only hope). Plus, nobody wants to watch a falcons vs seahawks game, everyone in the country wants packers vs bears… refs will be on our side to make sure this happens!!!!!
packers 27- failcons 13
matty ice gets picked twice, pack wont let that dink and dunk crap slide this time (1 pick 6).

M

January 13th, 2011
3:40 am

It’s Playoffs baby. It don’t matter what Aaron Rogers “did!” Ok. Last time I checked we “BEAT!” them right?? They are comming to ‘our house.’ Don’t Let No one ever come to your house and kick your A== in your own house OK? ‘EVER?’ Ok, Bring it Green Bay Slackers. ‘ATLANTA FALCONS SUPERBOWL CHAMPIONS!!!!’

M

January 13th, 2011
3:45 am

Who is Aaron Rogers anyway? Is that the son of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood boys and girls?? Green Bay Slackers….. The FALCONS ARE WHO YOU THOUGHT THEY WERE!! IT WILL BE A BLOW OUT SALE MAN, FALCONS 56 // SLACKERS 3.

Always Hoping

January 13th, 2011
6:27 am

The Green Bay Packers do not have a mascot. But as a kid I remember them having a mascot. His name was Packy Pack Packer. He was your typical big plush mascot. Wearing a Packer football helmet, Packer apron and holding some big sausages.

Ooooh……now I’m really scared !!

old timer

January 13th, 2011
6:28 am

Steve C, what I have heard a lot is that they are the two top young QBs in football, with a slight edge to Rodgers. Now, the lack of a running game does mean Rodgers will throw more, as you say, but it’s also true that a lack of a running game makes it harder to throw successfully. That’s why everyone is saying, hey, if this James Starks is for real, that will make it easier for Rodgers because defenses will have to honor play fakes to Starks, freezing defenders for that instant that can make the difference in a receiver getting open down field. I have never seen anyone consistently throw the deep ball more accurately than Rodgers. Everyone should view this game for what it is: A matchup between two really good teams and either can win. Packers might be wearing down a little with a short week and three tough must-win victories in the last three weeks, but I am sure they are happy to get another shot at the Falcons. Anyone who knocks this Packer team is as off-base as anyone who knocks the Falcons.

time for timer

January 13th, 2011
6:37 am

i got a hankering for a hunka, a slice, a slab. a chunka, i got a hankering for a hunk of cheese

Steve C

January 13th, 2011
8:41 am

Old Timer,

Thanks for the response, it’s nice to see a reasonable post here rather than the “You s**k and we’re gonna win 72-6″ kind of stuff. It should be a tremendous game, too bad tickets are running $100 for the worst seats in the house (upper end zone).

Falcon Chris

January 13th, 2011
9:17 am

Not the old Falcons Packer Fans….Get over it….You lose on Saturday night 20-2 at home is no fluke….There is no way it will be 20-3 Saturday night….Bring it on Samuel L Jackson “Rise up” !!!!

Gamer

January 13th, 2011
9:20 am

Matt RYAN IS CALLED MATTY-ICE FOR A GOOD REASON..HIS COOL, CALCULUS AND CONTROL PLAY PERMITS HIM TO SURVEY THE FIELD BEFORE THE SNAP AND IN PLAY-TIME….MATTY-ICE IS A COOL CALCULUS CUSTOMER TO THE GAME….HE’S A LETHAL ELITE QUARTERBACK..

THAT’S RIGHT!!! MATTY-ICE IS CARVING OUT A NEW ELITE QUARTERBACK NOMENCLATURE!!!! AN LETHAL ELITE QUARTERBACK!!!!

IT’S ON IN THE DOME BABY!!!! FALCONS VS. PACKERS….GET READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!!

GO FALCONS…STAY FOCUS…RISE UP TO 2011 SUPERBOWL….!!!!!!

D man

January 13th, 2011
9:51 am

Steve C – good post. I posted the same thing last night. Also just to add to your post, Matt has thrown the ball about 100 more times and he has two less interceptions, plus he has only been sacked 23 times vs 31 for Rodgers. ESPN is just hoping for a Bears/ Packers rematch for ratings so they are pumping the Pack up again like they did the last time they came here.

Rise up Falcons – AGAIN

D man

January 13th, 2011
9:54 am

Cheese melts in Hotlanta Falcons win 31 – 17.

D man

January 13th, 2011
10:12 am

Look at the facts:
Falcons 20 Packers 17 Regular Season
Falcons 13&3 Packers 10&6
Falcons #1 Wide Reciever in NFC Roddy White – Packers # 4 Jennings
Falcons #1 Running Back in the NFC Turner – Packers #33 Jackson
Falcons #1 Give/Take (+13) NFC – Packers #3 (+10)
Falcons #2 Points Scored on Offense NFC – Packers #6 in NFC
Falcons Home Wins 7&1 – Packers Road Wins 3&5

Face it, the Falcons are the number 1 seed for a very good reason. They are the best in the NFC and they should beat the Packers again.

cejay

January 13th, 2011
10:13 am

Aaron rodgers= disgruntled aints fan, seentthisb4

wendell

January 13th, 2011
10:13 am

Wasn’t Aaron Rodgers one of the Cowboys in the movie “BrokeBack Mountain?”

I could have sworn that I saw him whispering to Mike McCarthy “I Can’t Quit You.”

Go Falcons!

Rise Up!

Saturday is officially “Whack a Cheesehead Day” in Atlanta.

SawThat1nce

January 13th, 2011
10:14 am

Falcons will win by 10.
Packer Fans, keep on sipping that ExPN kool-aid.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kane337

January 13th, 2011
10:14 am

Since 2008….

Ryan 2-0 vs Rodgers
Falcons 6-0 vs NFC North
Packers 0-6 vs NFC South

james

January 13th, 2011
10:23 am

Steve C, That’s an excellent post, I had no idea that Ryan and Rodgers were statistically so similar, but then of course I did not check the facts, I just listened to the ususal dribble from the NFL Network and ESPN pundits who were saying how much better Rodgers is than Ryan. So that begs the question: what is the beef that ESPN, NFL Network and others have with the Falcons? I mean they’ve got their collective tongue so far up Aaron Rodgers “you know what”, it will have to be surgically removed! Ultimately, I guess I’m OK with the US against the Media role that we always have to play, but what will it take for them to respect us?

SawThat1nce

January 13th, 2011
10:32 am

what is wrong with this blog machine?

cejay

January 13th, 2011
10:41 am

I hope the Falcons that beat Baltimore show up for the game !!!

old timer

January 13th, 2011
10:51 am

D man, yeah, the Pack finished regular season 10-6. They had an adjustment period at midseason with so many starters going on IR. The amazing thing is that they were able to make the adjustments. I figured it was going to be a lost season. They have adjusted, Rodgers is a great QB whether or not he is better than Ryan, and they have a really good defense. We’ll see how it comes out.

james

January 13th, 2011
10:57 am

There were probably over 10,000 Packer fans at the last game. Can we/will we be able to mitigate the numbers from Cheeseheadnation? Season ticket holders need to understand that when they choose to sell their tickets and proudly make their tidy little profits from their sales, the chances are strong that those tickets are falling into “enemy hands”. Can we all try to be good Falcon fans around here, instead of profiteers? Trust me, this problem doesn’t really exist in other NFL cities – this is another one of those “Atlanta things”. Be strong Falcons! Rise up!

wendell

January 13th, 2011
11:07 am

OK. I have done some research and confirmed that Aaron Rodgers WAS NOT one of the gay cowboys in the movie “Brokeback Mountain.”

But, is it true that he was the inspiration behind the movie and that he is the one that originally coined the phrase (when speaking to Mike McCarthy) “I CAN’T QUIT YOU?”

Go Falcons.

Rise up!

Get ready for “DUMP A BEER ON A CHEESEHEAD SATURDAY.”

This message has been approved by Mayor Kasim Reed (proponent of the World Fasmous Atlanta Shopping District at Peachtree and MLK, featuring such stores as Shantiqua’s Hair Extensions and Hosea’s Air Brushed Obama Tees).

True Falcon Fan

January 13th, 2011
11:08 am

Now ALL those Packer fans — you know the ones i am speaking about, ALL the loud mouths —- so you think your cheeseheads have this one in the bag —- First “YOU MUST PROMISE YOU WILL BE HERE SUNDAY WIN OR LOSE” —- NOW PROMISE??? I for one, want to here your explanation of the A$$ whuppin’ you will receive & esspecially i want to hear about ALL the cheap ref calls your team didn’t get, ALSO i want to hear “if we, shoulda, coulda, woulda” —- then just tell me “YOUR TEAM GOT THAY A$$ WHUPPD” The End —

Today your playoff QB record 6 loses of the last 10 or is it 4 wins out of the last 10 appearances —- this Saturday night your teams QB playoff record will be 7 loses out of the last 11 playoff appearances!!!

Packers Next

GO FALCONS GO

truth

January 13th, 2011
11:10 am

D man

January 13th, 2011
10:12 am
Look at the facts:
Falcons 20 Packers 17 Regular Season
Falcons 13&3 Packers 10&6
Falcons #1 Wide Reciever in NFC Roddy White – Packers # 4 Jennings
Falcons #1 Running Back in the NFC Turner – Packers #33 Jackson
Falcons #1 Give/Take (+13) NFC – Packers #3 (+10)
Falcons #2 Points Scored on Offense NFC – Packers #6 in NFC
Falcons Home Wins 7&1 – Packers Road Wins 3&5

Face it, the Falcons are the number 1 seed for a very good reason. They are the best in the NFC and they should beat the Packers again.
Good post.
I recall when these two first played each other the Slackers were the hot team and well, Atlanta beat the hottest team in the NFC at that time. Now the table is the same. The Slackers are now considered the hottest team in the NFC and will play Altlanta again this Saturday. And again the Falcons will prove that they are and still the hottest team in the NFC.

Lister

January 13th, 2011
11:11 am

DUMP A BEER ON A CHEESEHEAD SATURDAY!

I do like the ring of that.

Get ready for some confrontation cheeseheads.

You won’t be wearing one of those for long if you are sitting in front of me….

RISE UP!!!

Big Black

January 13th, 2011
11:13 am

We will crush the peckers and their fans on Saturday.

Trust me.

Big Black

January 13th, 2011
11:14 am

By the way, I WILL dump a beer on any cheesehead that is obstructing my view.

CHEESEHEADS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED IN MY HOUSE!

old timer

January 13th, 2011
11:18 am

wendell, you poor phobe. Are you implying that Rodgers is gay? Odds are he’s not, but so what if he is? I hear both teams have some black and Hispanic players. Gads. Try to “RISE UP” into the 21st Century.

Milwaukee Sports Guy

January 13th, 2011
11:35 am

Bears showed how to slow down Packers offense…play 2 deep safeties, drop your linebackers, and make Packers run and settle for short passes. If you bring one of your safeties in the box to stop the run and play just one over the top, Rodgers will kill you on the vertical routes…teams that tried to play them that way didn’t last long (Cowboys, Giants, Vikings). I think that’s why the Eagles lived with Starks rushing for 125 yards, they’d rather have that than Rodgers slinging it all over the field. Packers have shown that if you can keep them from the big play, they will make mistakes (negative runs, drops, penalties, turnovers). They are much better than the Eagles so they got away with it. They are not much better than the Falcons, so they will not be able to survive that big mistake this weekend. If they don’t have a turnover on Saturday night, I think Packers win. I am excited for the game, I think they are two very good teams, certainly the two best left in the NFC.

GinGB

January 13th, 2011
11:39 am

Wow, I popped into this site to see what the “other” teams fans in this match-up were saying and I’m not surprised.

I hadn’t noticed what some of you are saying about ESPN or NFLN favoring either QB (like so many of you seem bent about). I think the reason you are hearing more about Rogers is he played a game last week and Ryan earned the week off. That gives the talking heads more recent regurgitate about Rogers compared to Ryan. Both QB’s are top tier and they have allot of similar qualities. Patience, accuracy, running ability, decision making, intelligence. I think Rogers is slightly better insofar as the different throws he’s asked to make in the GB offense but the edge is minimal and I don’t get to see Ryan every week.

I hope the refs stay the hell out of the way in this game (which would be a first) and if they do we should be treated to a great game. I dont think the Pack fears the Falcons, after all they’ve weathered this year they know what they need to do but after their earlier meeting they sure better respect them. The Falcons didn’t get to the #1 seed by mistake, they earned it. You have a team and a QB that makes very few mistakes and it will come down to who does more with their chances. This game should be for the NFC title. Bears/Seahawks is not a good representation of the NFC.

After what happened last week in Seattle I don’t even want to venture a guess as to what will happen in this one. I just hope its as good as it should be.

Good luck, enjoy the snow.

Johnny Fever

January 13th, 2011
11:47 am

Where are the saint idiots?

cejay

January 13th, 2011
11:55 am

I know where they’re not………..preparing for their super bowl return !!!!!!

SawThat1nce

January 13th, 2011
12:06 pm

GinGB…..If I was a Packer fan, I would also hope that the Refs., “stay out of the way”, the same way, that they “stay out of the way”, when the Packers are on defense.

SawThat1nce

January 13th, 2011
12:09 pm

“you don’t want to be out there playing too fast” Matt Ryan

SawThat1nce

January 13th, 2011
12:09 pm

“As a quarterback that can sometimes hurt you.” Matt Ryan

SawThat1nce

January 13th, 2011
12:11 pm

That is the mistake that the QB for the Eagles made in the final minute of last Sundays game.

SawThat1nce

January 13th, 2011
12:13 pm

That mistake by the Eagles, and several others, allowed the Packers to advance to the next round.

Milwaukee Sports Guy

January 13th, 2011
12:16 pm

I love that the Falcons fans are “hoping” that the crowd is raucous and loud. #1 seed, fun team to watch, game to get to the NFC title matchup, and you have to implore your crowd to be loud. Nice fan base down there. Meanwhile, your opponents have a 90 year waiting list for season tickets.

bucky44

January 13th, 2011
12:17 pm

The Packers have the better QB and the better D. Homefield advantage will not be there for the Falcons cause the Packers will probably have more fans there.”Rise up” and then sit back down and hush up and watch the Pack end your season!

Red-N-Black

January 13th, 2011
12:20 pm

I love that the Falcons fans are “hoping” that the crowd is raucous and loud. #1 seed, fun team to watch, game to get to the NFC title matchup, and you have to implore your crowd to be loud. Nice fan base down there. Meanwhile, your opponents have a 90 year waiting list for season tickets.

LOUDER THAN USUAL – Let me explain Karma to you as well, remember that looser move ARodgers did on his last score? You know where he did the “Wrastling Belt” lame expression to the crowd? That payback will be fullfilled when Mr. Rodgers meets Mr. Turf at the GA dome – You know where the Falcons own the joint? It’s not the 60’s or 70’s anymore get used to it the NFC South is by far the best division in the NFC. Hope to your tears Saturday night.