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Rapid Reaction: Falcons 27, Packers 24

10/5/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Most of the attention at Lambeau Field was on the right shoulder of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If anything, however, it appears the Packers' rash of defensive injuries finally caught up to them in their 27-24 loss to Atlanta.

Yes, Rodgers' fourth-quarter interception put the Falcons in position for what turned out to be the deciding points. But from what I could see, that play was one of his few mistakes in an otherwise admirable performance.

The Packers' defense, however, was simply outmanned by an Atlanta offense that hadn't scored a touchdown in two previous road games this season. They were missing three starters -- and one replacement starter -- while using a clearly debilitated A.J. Hawk at weakside linebacker.

Falcons tight end Justin Peelle beat Hawk on his first-quarter touchdown reception, and reserve cornerback Will Blackmon was defending on Roddy White's 22-yard pass in the second quarter. And in the first game since defensive end Cullen Jenkins was declared out for the season because of a chest injury, the Packers gave up 176 rushing yards.

Rodgers proved he could play in pain Sunday, but the Packers' undermanned defense couldn't match his efforts.