Ryan Ices The Packers, Falcons Win 33-32

 

In his nine-year career, he has earned the nickname Matty Ice.

Thanks to an 11-play, 75-yard drive by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan that resulted in an 11-yard pitch-and-catch from Ryan to receiver Mohamed Sanu that was the deciding score as the Falcons gets their fifth win of the season over the Green Bay Packers, 33-32.

A contest in which Green Bay had a slew of notable injuries including starting slot receiver Randall Cobb, outside linebacker Clay Matthews, key reserve Ty Montgomery, plus missing their top three cornerbacks, the Packers (4-3) still fielded one of the best quarterbacks in the game in Aaron Rodgers. The Super Bowl winning quarterback was able to produce despite the injuries and tossed for 246 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for another 60 yards. After the Falcons (5-3) took an opening 3-0 lead on a 36-yard field goal to start the game, Rodgers connected with his favorite receiver, Jordy Nelson, for five yards and an early 7-3 Packers lead in the opening quarter.

The two offenses traded punches in the first half with the Packers eventually taking a 24-19 lead going into halftime.

A much-maligned Atlanta defense played surprisingly well in the second half. Registering two sacks of Rodgers, both by defensive end Adrian Clayborn, and held the Green Bay offense to just eight points in the second half. However, those eight points came late in the fourth, with a seven-yard TD pass from Rodgers to receiver Jeff Janis and a two-point conversion by Rodgers with under four minutes left. Rodgers made the most out of the little weapons he had throughout the day as receiver Devante Adams (12 catches, 74 yards) and Nelson (4/94/1) were the safety valves for Rodgers.

The third overall pick out of Boston College in 2008 took the field and then guided his Falcons down the field. Ryan completed nine of 11 passes with the final one being the clincher and finished the game with 288 yards and three touchdowns on the day. What may have been more impressive was the Ryan got the job done without much from his star receiver, Julio Jones, who was held to just three catches for 29 yards. Much of the workload in the passing department came from Sanu (9/84/1) and receiver Taylor Gabriel (3/68/1) as well as rookie tight end Austin Hooper (5/41).

 

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