Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers
Tuesday, 00:20 BST
Live on Sky Sports Action and Channel 5
Fireworks on show at Lambeau
For the second year in a row the Green Bay Packers come in to Week 4 unbeaten, and off the back of an impressive 37-30 victory over the New Orleans Saints. The unbeaten start to the season has been powered by a pair of Aarons, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Aaron Jones. The 37 points scored last week actually represents the lowest offensive output by the Packers this season and facing a Falcons side who have given up 30 or more points in each of their three losses in 2020.
Rodgers, in particular, should find success tonight. Having already thrown nine touchdowns (third most in the league) the future Hall of Famer should have no trouble dissecting Atlanta's poor pass defence and even if Rodgers does have any difficulty then his running back has proven to be a more than capable deputy. Aaron Jones had his best game of the season against the Detroit Lions in Week 2 (168 yards and 2 TDs) and has shown a consistent nose for the endzone, scoring in all three games so far this term.
On the other side of the field the Atlanta Falcons are 0-3 but the offence, led by Matt Ryan, have proved themselves to be a decent group capable of scoring from anywhere. Ryan will welcome the return of star wide receiver Julio Jones to add to a receiving corp that featuring the impressive Calvin Ridley and a solid tight end group led by Hayden Hurst.
With so much offensive firepower on show I'm expecting a high scoring Green Bay win and, at 17/10, it looks a good price.
MVS can take advantage of depleted Green Bay receivers
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur will go up against his former boss, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, tonight and will hope to continue his impressive track record on offence. LaFleur was hired to be the Falcons quarterback coach, and developed Matt Ryan in to an MVP winner, that effort saw him offered the chance to work with one of the best in the game, Aaron Rodgers.
LaFleur's ability to build an offensive gameplan, along with Rodgers' outstanding instincts, has certainly helped Green Bay cope with a number of injuries at wide receiver. In the first week of the season Rodgers had his full set of receivers: Davante Adams, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling available and threw a touchdown to all three men. Last week saw Adams sidelined and Rodgers leaned heavily on Lazard against New Orleans.
The 24-year-old had 6 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown but picked up an injury himself and, following surgery, he will now be out for a few weeks. While Adams is expected to play this week, there are no guarantees over his ability to play at full speed meaning it could be time for the third Green Bay receiver to step up tonight.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling will lineup against an Atlanta secondary who have given up an average of 363 yards per game and nine touchdowns through the air. With Rodgers sure to take advantage it will be on Valdes-Scantling to provide a dependable outlet.
Adams is, undoubtedly, the senior receiver but with question marks over his fitness in a game that the Packers are heavy favourites I wouldn't be surprised to see his playing time managed closely by the coaching staff. I'm backing a Same Game Multi of MVS to score a touchdown and Rodgers to throw for Over 282.5 yards at 3.39/4
Ridley continues Falcons emergence
Davante Adams isn't the only wide receiver battling fitness concerns coming in to the game, Falcons star Julio Jones missed the loss to the Chicago Bears last week but should return for tonight's game. Jones, a first round pick from the University of Alabama in 2011 lines up alongside Calvin Ridley, another Alabama pass catching product. Ridley has had an exceptional start to the season, with over 100 receiving yards in every game and leading the league in touchdown catches, I don't expect that run of form to stop this week.
While Green Bay's offence has been exceptional the defence have struggled, allowing seven passing touchdowns and in the form of Adam Thielen and Emmanuel Sanders have had real trouble coping with receivers who have a similar profile to Ridley. Last week was Ridley's first game of 2020 without a touchdown, but with Jones returning to draw some of the defensive focus I'm expecting the Falcons number 18 to return to scoring ways at Lambeau.