There was a lot to be excited for Sunday evening against the Packers: It was the Falcons first-ever regular season matchup at their new stadium, it was the first time they had an open-air match in decades (they opened the roof), and fans looked forward to the test of beating the Packers again.
The last time the two teams met was the NFC Championship last year just 20 yards to the left of Mercedes-Benz Stadium at the Georgia Dome. That matchup saw an explosive Falcons attack humble the Packers, who were the favorites to meet Tom Brady and Co. in the Super Bowl. With an extensive list of injuries and an adventure in itself just getting to Atlanta, there were excuses to boot as to why the Falcons were so dominant in the NFC Championship. But this time? They just flat-out outplayed them.
In the 3rd quarter, it was 34-10 and the Falcons were doing everything right. But hold your horses, because Atlanta teams often see themselves in this exact situation and crumble before the end of the game. The reliable constant on offense was the aerial threat in Julio Jones. Jones had a clutch 5 receptions for 108 yards and was targeted 9 times. Mohammed Sanu was right behind him with 5 receptions of his own for 85 yards.
The first touchdown scored at Mercedes-Benz Stadium… came from Atlanta United in a 7-0 victory last Wednesday. But if you mean American football, that honor was given to running back Devontae Freeman. Freeman finished the night with 85 yards on the ground and 2 touchdowns.
The (2-0) Falcons will travel to Detroit to face the Lions on Sunday, September 24 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Photo: Hakim Wright