Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-13, 55 o/u)
After telling fans to “R-E-L-A-X” during a rocky start to the year, Aaron Rodgers has led the Green Bay Packers (9-3, 6-0 home) to yet another impressive season. Currently, the NFC North-leading Packers are on pace for a first-round playoff. Last week’s impressive win against the New England Patriots – which some people billed as a potential Super Bowl preview – kept the squad one game up on division rival Detroit.
Said Rodgers, who passed for 368 yards and two TDs against the Patriots, “We have some big goals, and we’re getting into December football now with a chance with everything right in front of us.”
In front of the Packers, tonight, will be the Atlanta Falcons (5-7, 2-4 away) and the all-too-familiar face of Devin Hester. The Packers used to face Hester – who recently set an NFL record with this 20th career return touchdown – twice each season when the speedster was with Chicago.
Former Chicago Bear and current Packer Julius Peppers knows how dangerous Hester can be every time he’s on the field.
Peppers said, “It was an event when they got ready to punt the ball; you got up and you went to the sideline to look. You wanted to see what was going to happen.”
Last weekend, the Falcons pulled off an upset of the NFC-leading Arizona Cardinals (29-18). Though they still sit two games under .500, Atlanta can take sole possession of first in the NFC South with a win tonight.
Still, the Falcons are facing Rodgers, who has been exceptional at Lambeau this year. In six homes games this season, Rodgers has 20 touchdowns without an interception.
“It’s a big challenge for us this week with Aaron Rodgers,” Atlanta head coach Mike Smith said. “No doubt, he’s playing the best of any quarterback in the NFL right now. He’s got a number of weapons he can get it to.
“He’s played extremely well at home. I don’t think he’s thrown an interception at home this season, and I don’t even want to talk about how many points they’ve scored.”
Considering this is the NFL, a 13-point spread is just too high, especially with the Falcons winning three of their last four and still firmly in the playoff hunt. That’s why you want to take the Falcons and the points (+13).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) “DeAngelo Hall, Allen Rossum” [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)
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