CB LaDarius Gunter has had an up-and-down season, but this was one of his up-games. He drew WR Julio Jones in coverage and Jones was a non-factor for most of the game, especially after he sprained his ankle in the first half. But the rest of the coverage was poor. The other starting CB (Demetri Goodson) allowed a long TD pass, and they would have had a better match-up against No. 2 WR Mohamed Sanu, who led the Falcons in receptions and receiving yards, if the Packers had their top 3 CBs available.Agree that moral victories don't count. But c'mon. No Matthews, Shields, Randall, Rollins on defense -- then lost Gunter at the end! https://t.co/A40Mpsiitq— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) October 30, 2016
The late game loss of Gunter was significant too. On the game winning TD pass, the Packers had ILB Jake Ryan lined up in single coverage against Sanu, and being down to two healthy CBs (plus utility DB Micah Hyde) might have been part of the reason they found themselves in such a bad match-up on the decisive play of the game. Shields's long-term health is a concern but the other three players should return and make the defense much better.
This loss hurts. They led for much of the game and the defense couldn't make the late lead hold up. The next two games are more manageable, against the Colts and Titans, before two tough prime time road games at Washington and Philadelphia. The two NFC East games are looming large because they might be the key to a Wild Card spot at the end of the season. They just got to keep focused on winning each game, and getting their missing players back healthy.