Aaron Rodgers threw for 396 yards and two touchdowns and the visiting Green Bay Packers rallied for a 25-14 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in a rematch of last January’s divisional round playoff game.
The defending Super Bowl champions have won 11 straight and are 5-0 for the first time since 1965 after scoring 25 unanswered points and breaking the hearts of Falcons’ fans yet again.
Atlanta (2-3) had won 23 straight games when leading at halftime – the longest streak in the NFL. Now, the Falcons have as many losses as all of last season, when they went 13-3 en route to the NFC’s top seed but were eliminated in a shockingly lopsided 48-21 loss to Green Bay.
Rodgers had to work harder this time while playing without both starting offensive tackles. But he eventually took advantage of a Falcons’ defense missing John Abraham – its best pass rusher who was a late scratch due to a groin injury – and tied a team record by hitting 12 different receivers.
Conversely, Atlanta struggled mightily after scoring on its first two possessions, which allowed Green Bay to take over.
Mason Crosby tied his franchise record with a 56-yard field goal that cut the lead to 14-9 with just over five minutes left in the third. Rodgers then gave Green Bay its first lead with a 70-yard touchdown pass, the 100th of his career, to James Jones with 3:53 left in the third.
Green Bay extended its lead to 22-14 early in the fourth quarter on Greg Jennings’ 29-yard touchdown catch.
Atlanta tried to answer as it drove to the Green Bay 29-yard line with 8:11 remaining, but Matt Ryan was sacked by Desmond Bishop. One play later, safety Charlie Peprah tipped a pass intended for Tony Gonzalez high into the air and made the interception at the 13-yard line.
Crosby kicked a 30-yard field goal and Jarrett Bush ended the Falcons’ final drive by intercepting Ryan, who lost for only the third time in his last 24 games at the Georgia Dome.