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(Sunday, October 9th)
Final Score: Green Bay 25, Atlanta 14
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - After falling behind by 14 points, it was time for the defending Super Bowl champions to get to work.
Aaron Rodgers threw for a pair of scores as part of a second-half barrage, keeping the Green Bay Packers unbeaten with a 25-14 victory over Atlanta Sunday night.
Rodgers, who completed 26-of-39 passes for 396 yards, threw the go-ahead 70- yard touchdown pass to James Jones with 3:42 left in the third. Rodgers added a 29-yard strike to Greg Jennings on an acrobatic scoring play to begin the final quarter.
Mason Crosby kicked four field goals, including a 56-yarder that equaled his own franchise record.
"It was a choppy game. We had like three possessions in the first half," Rodgers said. "We kept persevering and dealt with adversity well, like we have all season."
Jones had five catches for 140 yards for the Packers (5-0), whose 11-game winning streak is their longest since a 12-game run in 1961-62. They are 5-0 for the first time since 1965 when Green Bay won its first six contests, on the way to an NFL championship.
Matt Ryan finished 18-of-32 for 167 yards with a score and a pair of interceptions for the Falcons (2-3), who couldn't gain a measure of revenge after losing to Green Bay, 48-21, at the Georgia Dome in the divisional round of the playoffs last season. The Falcons already have as many losses as they had all of 2010.
"Nothing we tried in the second half worked," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "We weren't very efficient, at all."
Rodgers finally gave the Packers the lead on the first play following a punt. Jones beat safety Thomas DeCoud over the middle, and it was off to the races on the 70-yard score, giving Rodgers his 100th career touchdown pass. The two- point conversion pass to Jermichael Finley was broken up in the left side of the end zone, leaving Green Bay with a 15-14 edge.
For the second straight possession, Ryan failed to lead his team to a first down, but Rodgers converted a pair of third downs on the ensuing drive, a 22- yard play to Finley and a 10-yard connection to Randall Cobb.
That pushed the ball to the 29, and on the opening play of the fourth, Jennings caught a short pass over the middle, veered to the left sideline before tight-roping it before going mid-air and using his right hand to stretch the ball over the pylon.
A key play came one minute later when the Packers won a replay challenge. Harry Douglas caught a ball along the right sideline to seemingly move the chains to the chains with a 21-yard gain on 3rd-and-7 to the Atlanta 46. Tramon Williams, though, was ruled to have knocked the ball loose as Douglas was going out of bounds, forcing a punt.
Faced with a 2nd-and-21 from the Green Bay 40, Ryan forced a ball in to Tony Gonzalez, but the ball went off the tight end's hands and off the helmet of safety Charlie Peprah, who came up with the interception.
Green Bay then ate up 6:22 off the clock with a 12-play, 66-yard drive, ending it on Crosby's sealing 30-yard field goal with 1:10 left. The big plays came when Rodgers hit Finley with a 24-yard gain and Jones for 21.
Ryan was intercepted by Jarrett Bush in the closing seconds.
The Falcons converted a trio of third downs during the game's opening possession, a 13-play, 80-yard march that chewed nearly seven minutes off the clock. It ended on Ryan's five-yard TD toss to the left side for Roddy White.
Cornerback Brent Grimes stripped Ryan Grant of the football during a running play to thwart Green Bay's first drive.
Atlanta capitalized on the turnover as Michael Turner busted off right guard for a one-yard TD plunge to cap the 60-yard drive in 6:05.
"We executed really well the first two drives and then we didn't do a very good job of that from that point on," Ryan said. "We put ourselves in some tough positions to overcome."
Crosby kicked a 32-yard field goal with 5:26 left in the half, shortly after Rodgers connected with Jennings on a 39-yard pass that brought the ball to the four. Atlanta's defense, despite being without linebacker John Abraham (hip) sacked Rodgers on two straight downs prior to Crosby's kick.
A 35-yard boot by Crosby with eight seconds left in the half had Green Bay within 14-6. The Packers should have been in the end zone, but Finley dropped a perfectly-thrown ball at the goal line on third down.
Crosby drilled his 56-yard kick, with plenty of distance to spare, with 5:28 left in the third. Rodgers threw a 30-yard pass to Jones to convert a 3rd- and-11 from the Green Bay 15.
Including playoffs, the Packers have won six straight road contests...Green Bay has an all-time record of 17-5 in Sunday night games...Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones went to the locker room with a left hamstring injury in the fourth quarter...Falcons safety William Moore (shoulder) and cornerback Chris Owens (concussion) both left the game...Packers left tackle Chad Clifton sustained a hamstring injury...The Packers host winless St. Louis next Sunday, while the Falcons are at home against Carolina...Turner had 56 yards rushing and Gonzalez 60 yards on six catches...Rodgers hit 12 different receivers.
10/10 00:58:25 ET