Bat­tle of air at­tacks

Pack­ers have work cut out to clip Fal­cons’ wings in re­match of NFC ti­tle game

Sport360 - - Us Sports Nfl - By Jay Asser @Jay_Asser jayasser@sport360.com

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Pack­ers aren’t used to be­ing out­gunned in a shootout, but that’s ex­actly what hap­pened the last time they met the At­lanta Fal­cons.

Usu­ally the ones to run up the score and put games out of reach, the Pack­ers felt the wrath of last year’s his­toric Fal­cons of­fence in the NFC Cham­pi­onship Game, in which they trailed by 24 points at half-time and even­tu­ally lost 44-21.

Nearly eight months have come and gone since that Jan­uary meet­ing, dur­ing which the ros­ters of both teams have al­tered, and

At­lanta have tran­si­tioned to a new of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor, but the Fal­cons’ fire­power re­mains a con­cern in the first reg­u­lar-sea­son game at Mercedes-Benz Sta­dium tonight.

Matt Ryan still has star wide re­ceiver Julio Jones to ex­ploit Green Bay’s sec­ondary, which he did in full force in the NFC ti­tle game by torch­ing them for 180 yards and two touch­downs.

The Pack­ers had cor­ner­back LaDar­ius Gunter shadowing Jones in the game, but he’s no longer on the team af­ter be­ing re­leased this week. Davon House is a po­ten­tial can­di­date to spot­light Jones and has two pre­vi­ous match-ups to draw ex­pe­ri­ence from, once in 2014 when Jones had 11 catches for 259 yards and a score, and the year af­ter when Jones had 118 yards and a touch­down.

“I’ll be more com­fort­able this time around as well be­cause I’ve faced the guy be­fore twice,” House said. “So you know, just con­tinue to stick to my game, take away the things he wants to do and play foot­ball.”

Matty Ice: Fal­cons quar­ter­back Matt Ryan threw for 392 yards and four touch­downs the last time At­lanta met Green Bay back in Jan­uary.

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