Packers hold off Falcons, Jones has record night

Atlantafalcons.com

No matter what happened in the game against the Green Bay Packers on Monday night at Lambeau Field, the Falcons would remain in first place in the NFC South. However, a win against the Packers would put some much needed separation from the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers.

Unfortunately, despite a huge second-half rally and the career night for Julio Jones, the Falcons fell short to the Packers 43-37 and fall to 5-8 on the year.

When the game began, it looked like the Packers were going to run away with it as the they opened the contest with a seven-play, 81-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by James Starks. But the Falcons answered on the ensuing drive when Steven Jackson scored from four yards out to tie the game at seven.

But that’s when the Packers went on the attack.

At the start of the second quarter, the Packers would make the score 14-7 when Eddie Lacy scored on a 1-yard run. On the next offensive series for the Packers, Mason Crosby would kick a 38-yard field goal to make it a 10-point lead.

Atlanta looking to hang with the Packers on the ensuing series, but Matt Ryan threw an interception to Morgan Burnett and that led to a Lacy 1-yard score. The Packers would end the first half with one last scoring drive when Aaron Rodgers threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson to make it 31-7.

The Falcons would open the third quarter with a Ryan 79-yard strike to Julio Jones and that led to a Ryan 5-yard touchdown pass to Eric Weems. Both teams would exchange field goals later in the quarter and the Packers led by 17 at the end of the third quarter.

The Falcons would cut the lead to 12 early when Ryan found Jones for a 22-yard score. Green Bay would answer with a Rodgers 60-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson to go up 40-24. But the Falcons would answer right back when Ryan found Roddy White for a 1-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 10 (two point conversion was attempted and failed by the Falcons). Green Bay would tack on three more points on the next drive to go up by 13 late in the fourth quarter.

The Falcons would make things interesting on their final series of the game. Ryan led the offense to a nine-play, 66 yard drive which led to a 2-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Harry Douglas with a little over two minutes left. The Packers, however was able to get a first down on their final series and ran out the clock to end the game.

Ryan finished the night with 375 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. But Jones was the one who carried the Falcons in the second half. He had a career-high 259 receiving yards on 11 receptions and one score. His 259 yards is the best total for any NFL receiver this season and the 18th best total in NFL history. Jones did leave the game in the fourth quarter with a hip injury.

As mentioned earlier, the Falcons still remain in first place, but they are tied with Saints for the lead. The Falcons will look to keep the lead for one more week when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

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