Greetings to one and all ... four days from the NFC title game ... let's get underway with question from Mark: I would imagine the Packers are quite confident. They have won eight games in a row and are playing superb football. Please don't forget that the Falcons have won five games in a row and are coming off a demolition of Seattle. Should be fun.
Hey Bob: It was ever thus ... the delicate dance ILBs at every level of football must practice between run stopping and zone dropping. I can't say they have been hesitant. Jake Ryan shoots his gun in a hurry. He reacts fast. Martinez was less successful getting back on play fakes than Ryan. Thomas is smaller and faster.
Ben: Well, Mike McCarthy kept Michael back there on KOs Sunday even after his blunder. Given that fact, he'll probably be back there again. With this being another dome game, KO man Matt Bosher probably can kick all touchbacks if he chooses. Maybe he'll kick short to Michael's side banking he'll make another blunder.
Charlie: Not really. I still haven't heard much about how injuries might affect the Packers' roster. The 5-point spread favoring Atl did surprise me somewhat. I would have thought this was more of a 3-3 1/2 game for Atl.
Ben: Really? Atlanta lost its second-best pass rusher Sunday in Adrian Clayborn (biceps). That's a stiff blow. At this point, no Packers player can be ruled out. The Falcons' secondary was OK with Desmond Trufant but he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury the week after the GB game. Thus, that secondary is as vulnerable as the Packers'. Without thinking it through, seems like the talent on the two teams is fairly comparable.
Whoever: Spin moves with a mobile QB such as Dak Prescott are not the way to go. He'll just roll outside the spin and run or throw for easy yardage. Now a spin move by Matthews with Matt Ryan in the pocket makes sense because he's basically immobile. Matthews is playing hurt and isn't as fluid or as physical. It wouldn't be surprising if that shoulder requires surgery postseason. LT Tyron Smith might be as physically gifted as any player in the NFL. He locked down Matthews, but he locks down just about everybody. The Packers need Matthews to regain peak form in 2017, and at age 31 next season there's no reason not to think he still can be a hell of a performer.
Davey: Dom Capers began using Matthews in a rover role as that Dallas game unfolded. From a 4-1 configuration, Matthews stands up and charges into what appears to be a pre-designed gap. He did that six times, which was the most since he had 7 at Jax in the opener. As for rushing over on RT Doug Free's side, I'm not sure why they stayed with Peppers and Perry and didn't let 52 take a whack at him.
Danzig: Like Julio Jones in ATL or A.J. Green in Cincinnati. That's the kind of amazing talent James Lofton was. McCarthy has had some good receivers but nobody in the category of Lofton. As a resourceful coach, McCarthy would have changed what he does to take full advantage.
Fish: No. Abbrederis is a Lion now until he's cut. James Jones is the best option to provide immediate help at WR.
Bobby: The same is true for the Falcons. Neither team has a great rush. Will it be Matthews, Peppers, Perry, Capers' blitz packages doing damage? Or will it be Beasley, Freeney, Reed or Richard Smith's twists and stunts that did in the Seahawks' lousy O-line? Maybe this will surprise us all and turn into a defensive struggle. First one to 14 wins? In this day and age, wouldn't that be a treat to see?
JJ: Don't be foolish. As Ron Wolf would always say, you still have to line up and play. There's only one alternative (at least as I write now not knowing of Rollins' status: Randall must shape up and play better. He has the ability. He needs to apply it.
Paul: Cook sat out the first game with a ankle injury. In two career games against Atlanta he has six catches for 61 yards. LBs Deion Jones and De'Vondre Campbell have terrific speed. If matched against Cook, it wouldn't be a nightmare for them but the way he's playing it'd still be advantage, GB. SS Keanu Neal has just 4.60 speed and would be vulnerable if the Packers can match Cook on him. FS Ricardo Allen runs 4.51 but stands just 5-9. Cook can get after him on the basis of size.
Stosh: I'd say quite good. I wouldn't entrust Michael with the ball much but Montgomery and Ripkowski can do damage. Losing Adrian Clayborn affects the Atl run defense as well. He's a tough guy. The Falcons will have the advantage of crowd noise. It will make getting off the ball more difficult for the GB O-line.
Packman: The Packers need a lot on defense, and cornerback is one item. Green Bay will have the cash to do whatever it wants in free agency.
Devon: Brice is an explosive athlete with terrific speed. For him, it's all about seeing the game better and making faster reactions.
JT: CB Robert Alford had a bunch of penalties in the first half of the season. He had another Sunday when Doug Baldwin beat him for that long TD late. The Falcons will be doing whatever they can to hang in there Sunday against the Packers' receiving corps ... Interviews in locker room start soon and I need to get there ... thanks to all for the questions and reading us at JS//BOB McGINN