Packers 17

(7-4, 3-3 away)

Falcons 20

(9-2, 6-0 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, November 28, 2010

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA 

1 2 3 4 T
GB 3 0 7 717
ATL 3 7 0 1020

Top Performers

Passing: A. Rodgers (GB) - 344 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: M. Turner (ATL) - 23 CAR, 110 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: G. Jennings (GB) - 5 REC, 119 YDS

Falcons deny Packers thanks to Matt Bryant's FG with :09 left

Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Don't even mention a third straight winning season to the Atlanta Falcons.

Their goals are so much bigger than that.

The Falcons stayed atop the NFC when Matt Bryant kicked a 47-yard field goal with 9 seconds remaining Sunday for a 20-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers, one of the teams trying to chase down Atlanta in the conference standings.

Make no mistake. The Falcons (9-2) were very much aware of the possible ramifications this game might have beyond the regular season.

"I have no plans of going to Lambeau Field in January," Atlanta receiver Roddy White said. "I plan on staying right here and sleeping in my own bed in the playoffs."

The Falcons have won five in a row for their longest streak since the 1998 season, when the team reached its only Super Bowl. Also assured is a third consecutive winning record -- not too shabby, considering the franchise had never even had two in a row before this run.

Yet that's just an afterthought for these guys, who have won six straight games decided by a touchdown or less after losing the opener to Pittsburgh in overtime.

"It's great to get a winning season," coach Mike Smith said. "But the expectations and goals we talk about are a lot higher than that."

Bryant had to make his winning kick twice.

The Packers called a timeout just before he knocked his first attempt right down the middle. No problem. The 35-year-old had already made two game-winning kicks this season, and No. 3 had plenty of distance as it hooked slightly but stayed several feet inside the left upright.

"Pressure is what you feel when you're not prepared," Bryant said. "I've been preparing for that since I was 6 years old. Was there a little bit of pressure? Yeah. But I was prepared."

His do-over capped a game between playoff contenders that lived up to all the hype: a bruising defensive struggle filled with huge fourth-down plays and one very important kickoff return by Eric Weems.

After Aaron Rodgers threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson with 56 seconds remaining to tie the game for Green Bay (7-4), Weems broke loose up the middle and was dragged down by Matt Wilhelm with a flagrant facemask tackle. The Falcons took over at the Green Bay 49, Matt Ryan completed four straight short passes and Bryant made the winning kick.

The Falcons weren't concerned after Green Bay scored, especially with Ryan at quarterback. He completed 24 of 28 for 198 yards, including a 4-yarder to Tony Gonzalez for Atlanta's first TD.

"We've got Matty Ice," White said. "Ice cold. He just keeps moving the sticks."

Green Bay thought it had forced overtime when Rodgers directed a 16-play, 90-yard drive for the tying score. He improvised two huge plays on fourth down, beginning with a scrambling, backhanded flip of a pass to James Jones for an 18-yard gain on fourth-and-1 at the 21.

John Abraham sacked Rodgers for a 2-yard loss and a false start on Bryan Bulaga left the Packers with another fourth down from the 10. With Falcons owner Arthur Blank waving the crowd into an uproar on the sideline, the home team rushed only two players and dropped everyone else into coverage.

Rodgers had all the time he wanted, finally sliding to his left and rifling a pass to Nelson in the back corner of the end zone. He managed to get both feet down just before being shoved out of bounds by Thomas DeCoud.

"You go down and score a touchdown, and you're thinking overtime," said Rodgers, who passed for 344 yards, led the team in rushing with 51 yards but had a huge fumble at the goal line midway through the second quarter. "Tying the game was pretty special."

Weems quickly brought the crowd of more than 68,000 back to its feet. He took the kickoff 4 yards deep in the end zone, found a seam up the middle and looked as if he might break it all the way. Wilhelm stopped that by yanking at Weems' facemask. Of course, the 15-yard personal foul penalty pushed the Falcons onto the Green Bay side of the field.

"The penalties were unacceptable," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "You can't have them."

Rodgers tied the game at 10 with a 1-yard run in the third quarter, but all he could think about was that fumble trying to score from the same distance in the first half. On fourth-and-goal, he lowered his head in an attempt to sneak it over, but the ball popped loose in the end zone. Mike Peterson fell on it to end Green Bay's streak of 15 quarters without a turnover, its longest since 1963.

"That's what lost the game," Rodgers said. "It's discouraging not to win a game we should have won."

Michael Turner, who rushed for 110 yards, put the Falcons ahead 17-10 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter. On yet another huge fourth-and-goal play, this one from inside the 1, Turner bounced outside and went in standing up.

The Packers gave up more points than they had in the past three weeks combined, having surrendered only 10 in wins over the New York Jets, Dallas and Minnesota. Green Bay had a four-game winning streak overall, good enough for a tie with Chicago for the NFC North lead. The Bears hosted Philadelphia in a late-afternoon game.

Game notes

Green Bay lost CB Pat Lee in the first quarter with an ankle problem, and TE Spencer Havner hurt a hamstring in the third. ... Falcons RB Jason Snelling also sustained a hamstring injury and didn't play in the final period. ... LB Stephen Nicholas started for Atlanta ahead of first-round pick Sean Weatherspoon. ... The Falcons improved to 19-1 at home with Ryan starting at quarterback.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2219
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays5957
Total Yards418294
Yards per play7.15.2
Total Drives98
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-42-2
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

atlFG9:36Matt Bryant 38 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 55 yds, 5:29
gbFG0:07Mason Crosby 22 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 81 yds, 5:01
atlTD0:12Tony Gonzalez 4 Yard Pass From Matt Ryan (Matt Bryant Kick is Good)
Drive info: 14 plays, 80 yds, 7:24
gbTD7:22Aaron Rodgers 1 Yard Run (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yds, 2:52
atlTD14:27Michael Turner 1 Yard Run (Matt Bryant Kick is Good)
Drive info: 14 plays, 80 yds, 7:53
gbTD1:06Jordy Nelson 10 Yard Pass From Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 16 plays, 90 yds, 5:03
atlFG0:13Matt Bryant 47 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 20 yds, 0:47

Research Notes

PackersAaron Rodgers and the Packers' offense thrived in five-wide receiver sets Sunday against the Falcons, producing big plays and two touchdowns on 14 snaps.

Aaron Rodgers had a single-game season high of seven scramble attempts against the Falcons on Sunday, picking up 50 of his 51 rushing yards. Four of those scramble attempts came when the Falcons sent three pass rushers, something they did on 15 of Rodgers' dropbacks. Entering the game, Rodgers had only scrambled against a three-man pass rush twice in 22 dropbacks.
Green Bay's defense struggled to contain Michael Turner's running game, even when increasing pressure in the box. Turner averaged 5.8 yards per carry, and ran for 4 first downs and 1 touchdown with 8 or more defenders in the box, versus 3.8 yards per carry, 1 first down and 0 touchdowns with 7 or fewer defenders in the box.
Matt Ryan had success throwing out of personnel packages with at least 3 wide receivers, completing 14 of 17 pass attempts for 109 yards, a touchdown and a 113.0 passer rating.
Despite being a strong downfield passer, Matt Ryan stuck to a short-yardage game against a Packers defense that ranked first in the NFL in opponent passer rating on throws shorter than 15 yards downfield (63.1 opp. passer rtg). Ryan completed more than 90 percent of his passes and his only touchdown pass of the game on throws 14 yards or fewer on Sunday.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan did the majority of his damage throwing against extra defensive backs, something the Packers' defense had excelled at this season.
Aaron Rodgers: 13th Rush TD since 2007, most by a QB.

ESPN Stats & Information