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Packers lose to Falcons by three: Defensive grades

A 47-yard field goal from Matt Bryant with nine seconds left pushed the Atlanta Falcons past the Packers 20-17 in a matchup of two of the NFC’s best Sunday. The Packers offense failed to convert key plays, the defense missed tackles, and the special teams reverted back to its old ways in the loss, leaving the team empty-handed in what could have been a season-defining game.

With the loss, the Packers (7-4) move a game behind the Chicago Bears for the NFC North lead and are currently on the outside looking in the playoff race. That being said, the Packers still control its destiny in the North and will have plenty of opportunities to make a jump in the standings over the next five weeks.

To see grades for the offense, click here.

As for Sunday, here are a few grades for key players on defense.

B.J. Raji: If Raji gets the credit when the defensive line does well against the run, he has to take the heat when they perform poorly. Michael Turner rushed for a seemingly easy 110 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, in part thanks to a Packers’ defensive line that never created push and allowed holes for him to run through. Raji was credited with just one tackle and really struggled the entire afternoon. GRADE: C

Cullen Jenkins: The Packers weren’t able to create too much of a pass rush as Matt Ryan checked down or threw short on most of his 28 passes, but Jenkins was in his face whenever he didn’t. He recorded his first sack since Week 4 and was actually stout against the run when plays came to his side. He has been a beast since his hand cast came off and is proving why he deserves a big paycheck from Ted Thompson.

Desmond Bishop:

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January 14, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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