There's no other way to put it, Sunday's matchup between the Packers and the Falcons at the Georgia Dome is the game of the year to this point in the NFC. The Falcons own the best record in the conference at 8-2, having won 4 straight. It's arguably their biggest home game since the Mike Smith era began in 2008, a year in which they reached the playoffs as a wild card but lost to Arizona, the eventual conference champion. After dropping two straight overtime games, the Packers said "enough" and have proceeded to pass 4 very big tests heading into this showdown. A victory over the Vikings at Lambeau, a shutout in New York against the Jets, the blowout of Dallas before the bye and the rout of the Vikes in the Metrodome last week. Green Bay's offense has hit high gear, they haven't turned the ball over in three weeks. The defense has turned into the league's stingiest, giving up 10 points in the last three games. That unit will be tested however by a potent Atlanta offense led by young Matt Ryan, Michael Turner in the backfield and downfield weapons Tony Gonzalez, a future hall of famer and the league's leading receiver Roddy White. Sunday's winner should have the inside track toward the conference's top record and home field advantage.
On the medical front, safety Atari Bigby is the only player ruled out after pulling his hamstring against the Vikings last week. Backup safety Anthony Smith will try and practice Friday with a sprained ankle. Ryan Pickett reinjured his ankle sprain at practice on Wednesday but is still expected to play. Even though sack leader John Abraham and White didn't practice Thursday, they are expected in the lineup.
Let's take a trip through the locker rooms to hear what the players and coaches are saying about Sunday's big game.