For the third week in a row, the 5-7 Atlanta Falcons are in first place in the NFC South with a head-to-head tie-breaker over the New Orleans Saints.
After handling the division-leading Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, the Falcons are set to face off against another division leader in the Green Bay Packers.
The 9-3 Packers present a stiff matchup for the Falcons. It doesn’t help matters that the game will be played at Lambeau Field on Monday night.
There’s also the fact Aaron Rodgers, who looks poised to be voted the league’s MVP for the second time in his career, hasn’t thrown an interception at home since December 2, 2012.
This season, Rodgers has thrown 20 touchdowns at home. He has 32 total passing touchdowns and only has three interceptions on the season, and all three of those picks have come on the road.
Additional causes for concern: Green Bay is riding a four-game winning streak and the offense ranks second in the league in points per game with 31.7.
On the other side of the ball, the Falcons have notched at least two interceptions in the past four games. On the season, Atlanta has picked off 14 passes.
But the quarterbacks the Falcons played in the previous four games are: Josh McCown, Cam Newton, Brian Hoyer, and Drew Stanton. Needless to say, none of those quarterbacks hold a candle to Rodgers.
While Atlanta has its own pair of stud receivers in Julio Jones and Roddy White, the defense will have to contend with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, who both have caught 10 touchdowns on the season.
If Jones performs like he did last week against the Cardinals – hauled in 10 receptions for 189 yards and a touchdown – the Falcons certainly have a chance to upset the Packers. White missed the last game, and if he returns Monday night, he will boost Atlanta’s passing game.
The Packers have won the last three matchups against the Falcons, including squeezing out a 22-21 win last season in Lambeau. Prior to that, Atlanta was victorious when the two teams met in Green Bay in 2008.
The odds are against the Falcons. Rodgers and the Packers are scorching, and in the end, I think it will be too much for the Falcons to overcome.