Falcons stumble in snow, cold


Falcons stumble in snow, cold

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Tom Lynn
Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant reacts as Green Bay Packers players celebrate his missed field goal attempt during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

GREEN BAY, Wis. – In a game played in sub-freezing temperatures and light snow dusting, the Green Bay Packers rallied to defeat the Falcons 22-21 before 77,550 fans Sunday at Lambeau Field.

The Falcons’ offense stalled throughout the day and couldn’t convert on a key fourth-and-5 from the Green Bay 33-yard line with 2 minutes left in the game.

Instead of trying a 51-yard field-goal attempt, the Falcons elected to go for the first down. Matt Ryan’s passed intended for tight end Tony Gonzalez was broken up by Green Bay defensive back Jarrett Bush.

After a defensive stop, the Falcons got the ball back at their 9 with 44 seconds with no timeouts left. After a dropped pass by Harry Douglas on the fringe of field goal range, the last-ditch effort was stopped by Bush’s interception with 4 seconds to play.

The Falcons dropped to 3-10, and the Packers improved to 6-6-1, winning for the first time in five weeks.

The Falcons, powered by two turnovers, held a 21-10 lead at halftime.

The game started like it was going to be another long day at the office for the Falcons, who stalled on their opening drive and then allowed Green Bay to cobble together an 18-play, 90-yard touchdown drive to take a 7-0 lead.

In the long drive, the Packers converted on five third-down situations, including one by an illegal contact penalty on Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow. Packers running back Eddie Lacy scored on a 1-yard run to finished off their longest scoring drive of the season.

Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud likely suffered a concussion that was called a “head” injury on the play. He left the game and did not return.

On the ensuing drive, Ryan tossed a 36-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Drew Davis.

On Green Bay’s next series, safety William Moore sacked Matt Flynn and forced a fumble. Rookie defensive end Malliciah Goodman recovered at Green Bay’s 13.

Four plays later, Ryan tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez to make it 14-7.

The Packers’ next possession stalled at the Falcons’ 18 and kicker Mason Crosby added a 40-yard field goal to make 14-10.

After forcing the Falcons to punt, the Packers went on the move from their 15 to the Falcons’ 35 when things got a little bizarre. Flynn tossed a short pass to a receiver underneath and the ball hit Worrilow’s foot and bounced up to linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.

He raced 71 yards for a touchdown as some of the players stopped to watch because they thought the pass hit the snowy field.

In the third quarter, the Packers added 33- and 25-yard field goals from Crosby.

On their first possession of the fourth quarter, rookie right tackle Ryan Schraeder was beat by linebacker Mike Neal. He sacked Ryan, causing a fumble that was recovered by defensive tackle Johnny Jolly at the Falcons’ 21.

Four plays later, Flynn tossed a 2-yard touchdowns pass to tight end Andrew Quarless to put the Packers ahead 22-21. The two-point conversion try was unsuccessful.

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