Falcons offensive lineman Jake Matthews on improving the pass protection

Matthews made his 145th consecutive start, the team’s second-longest streak in that category

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons’ offensive line struggled early against the Panthers, but rebounded to help pull out the 24-10 win Sunday.

The Falcons gave up four sacks and five quarterback hits.

“We don’t want to give up any sacks,” Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews said. “We settled down and figured things out in the second half. Let’s build off of that.”

The Falcons (1-0) are set to face the Packers (1-0) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Packers had four sacks and six quarterback hits Sunday in their 38-20 win over the Bears in Chicago. Former Georgia standout Devonte Wyatt had 1.5 sacks, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.

“Protection is a tough thing,” Matthews said. “If one person is off, then it can affect it. … There are spots where we have to do better.”

In addition to Wyatt, the Packers have outside linebacker Preston Smith (Stephenson High) and nose tackle Kenny Clark, a two-time Pro Bowler.

“They’re good,” Matthews said. “They are very talented. It’s going to be a challenge. They looked really good against Chicago last week. ... A good opportunity for us to keep building off of what we want to be here. (We have to) go out there and play cleaner this week.”

Matthews made his 145th consecutive start in the opener, passing Todd McClure for the second-longest such streak in Falcons history. Former quarterback Matt Ryan holds the franchise record with 154 starts in a row. Matthews also is the NFL’s active leader in consecutive starts.

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