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Gameplan for Week 12 Victory


sandtrap
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Gameplan for Week 12 Victory

by sandtrap

It's that time again. The weather is getting colder, our stomachs are preparing to hibernate and the playoff picture is getting clearer by the week. Week 12 features a match between the cream of the NFC in the Atlanta Falcons (current conference and division leader at 8-2) and the Green Bay Packers (tied for 1st place in the NFC North at 7-3). It's only week 12 but barring any major upsets it looks as the NFC will be represented by the Falcons, Packers, Eagles, Seahawks/Rams, Saints and Bears in the playoffs with the Bucs and Giants close behind.

The Atlanta Falcons must be at least a bit more confident. Why? Matt Ryan is 18-1 when starting in the Dome and Michael Turner seems to turn the burner to overdrive when also playing at the Dome. Do I mean the same Dome that is notoriously known for its late arriving fans? Yeah, but it's also the place Matt Ryan's first professional pass went for a 62 yard touchdown, the same Dome he led his team on a last minute comeback victory against the Bears as a rookie (if you haven't seen that Here you go.) and it's the same dome he's continued to show his playmaker ability to have an 18-1 record at home. The Falcons are 14-0 dating back to last season, Ryan has the best active home winning streak at 18-1 in the league. Roddy White is leading the NFC in receptions and catches and is on pace to record 1600 yards receiving by seasons-end. Ryan also went untouched in week 11 against the the Rams who were leading the league in QB pressures, all thanks to the O-Line. The Falcons have the potential to take control of the game with much of that coming by way of home field advantage.

The Green Bay Packers are led by Aaron Rodgers and feature an aggressive passing attack and opportunistic defense. The Packers humiliated the Vikings last week so badly so that Brad Childress was fired the next day and oh wait, they also embarrassed the Cowboys and Wade Philips enough to also be fired the day after losing badly to the Packers. In between that time, they also managed to shutout the New York Jets, currently tied for 1st place in the AFC. The Packers have been banged up but have kept the foot on the pedal. The Falcons have managed to stay relatively healthy but John Abraham missed the week 11 game against the Rams, mainly as a precautionary measure to prepare for the final stretch ahead.

This is bound to be a critical matchup with HUGE playoff implications so I hope the fans heading to the GA Dome are ready to RISE UP before 1:00 and make sure Mike Smith gets his wish of a full house ROCKING at kickoff.

Without further delay, I present my gameplan for victory in Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers.

===OFFENSE===

This seems simple enough. Michael Turner all day, churning out yards left and right. The Packers defense currently ranks 18th in the League in stopping the rush and have allowed an average of 112 yards per game. When Turner goes over 100 yards in a game the Falcons are 5-0 this season. The Packers did an incredible job of limiting Adrian Peterson to 72 yards last week but most will argue that Turner and the Falcons at home is a severely more difficult proposition than the Vikings. Ryan will become more dangerous behind a good rushing attack and if the O-Line can continue to limit pressure, Matt Ryan will likely have another 100+ QB Rating and lead the Falcons to victory. With limited pressure Ryan has made smart decisions with the football and are in second place for turnover ratio in the NFL. Long clock churning drives will keep Rodgers and Greg Jennings off the field.

Expect to see a heavy dose of Michael Turner and play-action from Matt Ryan. The critical factors offensively for the Falcons will be turnover ratio, establishing the run and time of possession. If the Falcons can win 2 out of the three, they can expect a win.

===DEFENSE===

The defense started the season with a purpose and sense of urgency. The past few weeks haven't amounted to the same level of drive or fire, but with the rookie Sean Weatherspoon back in the lineup, one could argue a return to the passionate defensive play. John Abraham is expected to return after missing week 11 for precautionary reasons and if the secondary can hold up, expect the Predator to introduce himself to Rodgers. The defense will have to disrupt the timing between Rodgers and his receivers, stop the run and also keep Rodgers contained. A possible method could be to press the receivers and jam their routes early to throw off the timing. USS Babineaux is one of the most talented DTs in the league and if the secondary can keep the receivers occupied, Babineaux can collapse the pocket up the middle, John Abraham can be penciled in for a couple of sacks on Rodgers.

Expect a heavy dose of passes towards the receiver James Jones and as usual, Greg Jennings. The keys to coming out of week 12 with a win will be the pass rush, timing of receivers and play of the secondary in general. This looks to be a game where the DBs will have to RISE UP and play lights out.

===SPECIAL TEAMS===

The Falcons special teams unit has been shoty at best. They have given up some big plays and will need to tighten down and not make mistakes or miscues in this critical matchup. Return blocking has been an issue but so has the lack of returning ability. The Falcons can not afford to make any mental mistakes as this game could very well come down to a special teams play. Thankfully, Matt Bryant has been as close to a sure thing as any kicker in the league and you can expect the same in this game.

If the game is close, expect a special teams play to affect the outcome and if the Falcons can limit mistakes and possible break-out for a big play themselves, it will pay dividends in securing a win. Matt Bryant has been solid and one can only assume that will continue as long as he doesn't decide to change his last name to Elam.

===MY PREDICTION===

Atlanta Falcons: 28

Green Bay Packers: 24

Falcons will will the time of possession and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field. If the Falcons manage to get ahead early, expect a heavy dose of Michael Turner and Jason Snelling.

Edited by sandtrap
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