With running back Tevin Coleman inactive due to a hamstring injury, the majority of the workload fell in the lap of Freeman, who toted the rock 11 times for 35 yards and a touchdown to go along with four receptions for 23 yards and another score.
During the week the Falcons signed six-year veteran Stevan Ridley and promoted second-year man Terron Ward off their practice squad to help split carries. Despite having a package for Ridley, it was Ward who was used to complement Freeman throughout the game.
“We are proud of Terron, we knew he would step through,” coach Dan Quinn said. “We knew if his number was called that he would be ready. We have a lot of faith in him. He’s short, but he is not small. He knows how to lower his shoulder when the appropriate time comes. He’s a great competitor and he came through exactly how we thought.”
Ward had 46 yards on six carries including a 26-yard rush on Atlanta’s only drive in the third quarter. He also caught his lone pass of the game on that possession, a short dump off which he took 11 yards to the Green Bay one-yard line where Freeman eventually punched it in.
The Falcons ran the ball 19 times, but during that third-quarter drive they had nine rushes for 43 yards and held the ball for seven and a half minutes. Ward credited offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan for his play calling and said it was a quality mix of run and pass.
At the end of the day though, it was up to the players to execute, and Ward said that is exactly what they were able to do to pull out the win.
“We take every team on, every challenge head on,” Ward said. “We know they had a good rushing defense, but we knew we wanted to come out and establish ourselves. This is the NFL, everybody’s good, so we had to come out and prove it.”