The Packers return to Atlanta this Sunday in a rematch of January’s NFC Championship clash. What has changed since for both teams?
The Green Bay Packers travel to face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday Night Football this week in the first regular season game in Mercedes Benz Stadium. These foes have collided eight times during the Matt Ryan era, with the series being deadlocked at four wins apiece.
Most recently though, this matchup represents a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game. As we all know, Atlanta prevailed in that contest in runaway fashion by a score of 44-21.
The storyline for the Packers this offseason, at least in the national media’s eyes, was of a team that reloaded its talent pool in the hopes of overcoming its recent playoff woes.
On the flip side, the Falcons dealt primarily with questions surrounding their Super Bowl collapse and how it’ll affect them moving forward. Very few media members actually gave thought to how the Falcons bettered themselves in the offseason.
Therefore, let’s rectify that and examine how far both teams have really come in eight months’ time.
Key acquisitions and their impact thus far
We all know who the Falcons’ major additions were this offseason. Defensive tackle Dontari Poe, defensive end Takk McKinley, and linebacker Duke Riley were brought in to upgrade a lackluster front seven.
Their impact on the defense has already been apparent in just one game of action. Poe made his presence felt in the middle last Sunday as he went on to record four pressures in Atlanta’s 23-17 win over the Bears.
As for the two rookies, Riley flashed his speed at weakside…
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