TV Schedule: Sunday, Dec. 8, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Lambeau Field
Weather: High 19, Low 14
Since the loss of Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers have not won a single game — and tied once. It has been a bumpy ride this season for the Packers and their Thanksgiving day loss to the Detroit Lions was not any different as they lost 40-10. Green Bay has counted on two quarterbacks since Rodgers’ injury: Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien. Obviously, neither has done the job and the Packers are missing Rodgers’ 2,218 yards and 15 touchdowns that he had in the first half of the year. Jordy Nelson is making the best of the situation, catching 63 passes for 961 yards and seven touchdowns — all team-highs. Eddie Lacy has been solid in his rookie season at running back, rushing for 822 yards and six touchdowns on four yards per carry.
On the other side of the field, the Atlanta Falcons have been struggling as much as any team in the league this season and have become the first team that is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in 2013 — who could have seen that coming? Matt Ryan has not been playing up to his potential, passing for a healthy amount of yards, 3,471, and touchdowns, 19, but his 15 turnovers and lack of clutch play has led to a 3-9 record on the year after having the best record in the league a year ago. Harry Douglas has been his favorite target since Julio Jones‘ injury, catching 66 passes for 906 yards and two scores. Steven Jackson hasn’t been as effective as hoped in the run game, leading the 29th-ranked rushing offense with 339 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, the Packers haven’t been as solid as in years past. Green Bay ranks 23rd in points allowed and 24th in total yards allowed while struggling mightily in the run game with the seventh-worst run defense. Atlanta has struggled just as much as Green Bay this season, ranking 29th in points allowed and 26th in total yards allowed while also having a tough time stopping the run with the third-worst run defense in the league.
PREDICTION: Falcons 20, Packers 23
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.