The Green Bay Packers have lost 4 games this year, all by a field in the closing seconds or in overtime. The familiar scrpit played out today in the Georgia Dome before 68,204 as Matt Bryant kicked a 47 yard field with :09 to play lifting the Atlanta Falcons over the Packers 20-17. Green Bay tied the score at 17 when Aaron Rodgers found Jordy Nelson in the corner of the end zone on a 4th and goal play from the 10 with only :56 remaining. But the Packers special teams allowed Eric Weems to return the next kickoff 40 yards from 5 yards into his end zone. A 15 yard facemask penalty on Matt Wilhelm brought the ball to the Green Bay 49. Matt Ryan completed 4 passes for 20 yards to set up the game winning kick. Mike McCarthy called time out just before Bryant drilled his first try through and unfazed, he connected again. The contest was evenly matched with two of the best young quarterbacks dueling throughout. Rodgers finished with a passer rating of 114.5 on 26 of 35 completions for 344 yards and a touchdown. Ryan was even more accurate, hitting 24 of 28 passes for 198 yards and a score for a passer rating of 108.8. The difference was in the running game. Michael Turner broke through some shaky tackles for 110 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown, a one yard run early in the 4th quarter to give Atlanta a 17-10 lead. Rodgers wound up the Pack's leading rusher with 51 yards on 12 scrambles including a one yard touchdown on a quarterback draw in the third quarter that tied the game at 10. Rodgers nearly had a second touchdown on what turned out to be a critical play in the second quarter. He tried sneaking it in from the one but fumbled the ball that was recovered by Mike Peterson in the end zone. Instead of a touchdown and a 10-3 lead, the Falcons got the ball on a touchback. They proceeded to march 80 yards in 14 plays for a 7 point lead at the half. On 4th and 3 from the packers 36, Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for 6 yards, a catch that appeared to hit the turf but the Packers didn't challenge the play. Gonzalez caught three more passes on the march including a 4 yard touchdown with :08 left in the second quarter to give Atlanta the half time lead. The one turnover, Green Bay's first in nearly 4 full games, was the only turnover of the game. Greg Jennings wound up with 5 catches for 119 yards, Nelson and James Jones also caught five balls on the day. Atlanta improves to 9-2 and since Mike Smith became head coach, now 19-3 at home, Ryan is 19-1 as a starter at home. The Packers fall to 7-4 and return home next Sunday to face the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field.
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