NFL PREVIEWS |

Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers Preview and Predictions 12-09-2018


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."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Packers -5 O/U: 50.5 

ABOUT THE FALCONS (4-8): Ryan threw for a season-low 131 yards on 16-of-26 passing in a 26-16 home loss to the Baltimore Ravens (as a -3 point favorite at intertops) 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.



ABOUT THE PACKERS (4-7-1): 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.

EXTRA POINTS

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

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

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

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Lambeau Field
Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA.
Capacity: 73,142

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Last Injuries

Green Bay Packers

  • Hunter Bradley

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Bradley has been shifted to the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and the severity of the ailment is unknown.

  • Curtis Bolton

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Bolton has been moved to the active PUP list as he is recuperating from a torn ACL, and there is no timetable for return.

  • Yosh Nijman

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Nijman has been added to the active PUP list while rehabbing a torn ACL. There is no timetable for recovery.

  • Simon Stepaniak

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Stepaniak has wound up on the active Non-Football Injury list with a torn ACL and will miss an extended period.

  • Patrick Taylor Jr.

    Foot
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Taylor Jr. has been posted to the active Non-Football Injury list while he is on the mend from surgery to fix a Lisfranc injury in his foot. It is unclear how much time he will miss.

  • Treyvon Hester

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Hester has hit the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and there is no timetable for return.

  • Mason Crosby

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Crosby has landed on the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list will miss an undetermined length of time.

  • Jace Sternberger

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Sterberger has been designated for the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss an extended period.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Ricardo Allen

    Shoulder
    Ques Week 1 | questionable

    Allen is on the mend from offseason shoulder surgery, and it is unclear if he will be available for Week 1 versus the Seahawks.

  • Chris Cooper

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Smith has been designated for the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list and will be sidelined for an indefinite period.

  • Tyeler Davison

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Davison has been shifted to the Injured Resserve/COVID-19 list, and it is uncertain when it will be safe for him to get back on the field.

  • Danny Etling

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Etling has wound up on the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is uncertain how long it will take to return to full health.

  • Foyesade Oluokun

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Oluokun has been designated for the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and he will miss an undetermined length of time.