1:00 pm
December 9

Falcons @ Packers

Who will WIN this matchup?

Atlanta Falcons (4-8)

@ Green Bay Packers (4-7)


Current odds:

Atlanta Falcons: (+175)

Green Bay Packers: (-210)


•  The line for this game is Green Bay by 4.5 points.

• The Green Bay Packers are cleaning house on the coaching staff with four weeks left in a disappointing season and will be under the direction of a new head coach when they host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will serve as interim coach after Mike McCarthy was fired following last week’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The Packers are losers of three straight and five of their last six games to fall out of the race in the NFC North, and McCarthy’s tenuous relationship with quarterback Aaron Rodgers mixed with the disappointing results led to his ouster after 12-plus seasons in Green Bay. “We’ve had certain expectations and standards here for a long time,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst told reporters. “To come out at home against a team we felt we should beat, it wasn’t up to our standard. I don’t think we played well most of the season. Things weren’t changing as they needed to change.”

• The Falcons are in a rut as well and dropped their last four games while failing to score 20 points in each. “We’ve got to get back to work,” Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan told reporters. “We’ve got to find a good way to win. As far as stay together, I think we have a good group of men in our locker room, coaching staff and front office that are willing to work.”

• Ryan threw for a season-low 131 yards on 16-of-26 passing in a 26-16 home loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week while getting sacked three times and knocked to the ground on several more occasions. “I’m concerned about it because if we’re not protecting (Ryan) in the way that we can, then that gets hard,” Atlanta coach Dan Quinn told reporters. “There are some games that the score is out of whack and it turns into a dropback game, there are going to be more chances for a defense to go after them, you know that. But at the end of it, yeah, I’m concerned, but I’m as concerned about us playing as well as we can.” Ryan was sacked a total of 14 times in the last four games.

• Rodgers isn’t playing quite up to his MVP-level standards this season but remains the face of the franchise, though he won’t have a say in who the next coach of the team is going to be. “Obviously, he’s free to provide input and talk to us,” team president Mark Murphy told reporters of Rodgers. “But he’s not going to be a part of the process. … The other thing I would say, Aaron was no part at all in the decision to move on from Mike.” Philbin’s first move as interim coach was to fire associate head coach/linebackers coach Winston Moss, who had been with the team since 2006.

• Packers TE Jimmy Graham (knee) and WR Randall Cobb (hamstring) are questionable.

• Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) sat out practice on Wednesday after recording season lows of two catches and 18 yards last week.

• Atlanta took the last three meetings, including a 34-23 home triumph last season.

StreakSmarter Pick
Green Bay Packers