New stadium, same result as the Packers fall to Atlanta in dominating fashion.
Injuries were a story before the game even started. Especially on the Packers offensive line with starting tackles Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari both inactive. Combined with Jason Spriggs already out due to a hamstring injury, the Packers were left with Kyle Murphy and Justin McCray to fill the holes against the defending NFC champs.
The injuries kept piling up once the game started as well. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson left the game early with a quad injury. On the other side of the ball, a week after having one of his best performances against Seattle, Mike Daniels exited the game with a hamstring injury following the first drive.
Atlanta started with the ball and made quick work of the Packers defense both through the air and on the ground. Julio Jones was red hot out of the gates on Sunday night, racking up 95 yards in the first thirty minutes.
Meanwhile it was the Falcons backfield that found the endzone. A pair of first half touchdowns by Devonta Freeman helped put Atlanta in front early. Following an Aaron Rodgers interception Tevin Coleman gave Atlanta a 24-7 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
It didn’t’ get much better for the Packers when the second half started either. Rodgers found himself under increased pressure as the night went on. Then during the first series of the third quarter Rodgers was sacked by Vic Beasley, resulting in a lateral when Rodgers tried to get rid of the ball. Desmond Trufant returned the loose ball 15 yards for a touchdown in what could have been the play that sealed a win for the Falcons.
Green Bay rallied late with a pair of touchdown passes by Rodgers. The first to Davante Adams, and the second on a shovel pass to Ty Montgomery. The last being Rodgers 300th touchdown in his career, a feat the Packers signal caller accomplished 13 games faster than any other player in NFL history.
As far as the game was concerned, there just wasn’t enough time. Atlanta was able to run enough time off the clock to keep Green Bay from completing the comeback and open Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a 34-23 win.