ATLANTA -- Time for some final numbers from ESPN Stats & Information on Saturday night’s playoff game between the Falcons and Packers.
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan threw his first of two interceptions with 2 minutes, 20 seconds left in the first half. It came on a pass attempt to Michael Jenkins in the end zone. That led to a Green Bay touchdown and the Packers led the rest of the way. Ryan went the entire regular season without being intercepted when throwing into the end zone.
Ryan’s second interception came at the end of the first half. That was intercepted by Tramon Williams, who also picked off the first turnover, and returned for a touchdown to give Green Bay a 28-14 halftime lead. Ryan’s pass attempt was thrown 5 yards downfield. In the regular season, Ryan was intercepted just once on throws of 5 yards or fewer.
The Falcons blitzed Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers fairly often. Maybe they should have done it even more. Rodgers faced four or fewer rushers on 62.5 percent of his dropbacks. In those situations, he completed 90.9 percent of his passes, averaged 12 yards per attempt, threw for two touchdowns and ran for another while compiling a 147.0 passer rating.
The Falcons didn’t use a lot of three- or four-receiver sets during the regular season. But they had success when they did use those formations in their first 16 games. Ryan averaged 7.8 yards per attempt with eight touchdowns and two interceptions and was sacked only twice while posting a league-best 108.4 passer rating. It was a different story in the Green Bay game. Ryan averaged 6.1 yards per attempt, threw for one touchdowns and was intercepted once and had an 86.2 passer rating. More importantly, Ryan was sacked four times when the Falcons used three or more receivers Saturday.