Earlier than the season, the December matchup between the Inexperienced Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons gave the impression to be a sport to circle on the NFL calendar.
Now that the time has come for the groups to fulfill, it is not a marquee pairing. As an alternative the sport on Sunday at Lambeau Subject will probably be between groups which have fallen far in need of expectations.
The season has gone so poorly in Inexperienced Bay (4-7-1) that the Packers fired longtime coach Mike McCarthy after final Sunday’s 20-17 loss at house to the Arizona Cardinals.
Joe Philbin, Inexperienced Bay’s offensive coordinator and a former head coach of the Miami Dolphins, has taken over from McCarthy as interim head coach.
“I have never slept very a lot,” Philbin mentioned. “You come again right here and also you wish to be a part of the answer. You wish to assist a man that is been an amazing man, he is been an amazing coach, been a pal, and you’re feeling such as you let him down.
“So it has been busy, and I instructed the staff, what he is accomplished right here speaks up for itself. You realize, I understand how he feels (to be fired). I have been via it. It is not enjoyable.”
Packers proper sort out Bryan Bulaga does not count on many drastic modifications to the offense with Philbin in cost.
“I do not assume we’re going into the offensive assembly room and we will change every little thing about this offense,” Bulaga mentioned. “I do not assume that is the case. I’ve recognized Joe for a very long time. I believe he is an excellent coach. Clearly, he’ll have his personal concepts and ideas as properly. There’s going to be a distinct really feel to it, I would think about.”
The Falcons (4-8) are within the midst of a four-game shedding streak, however it seems that Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn is not going to endure the identical destiny as McCarthy this season. Falcons proprietor Arthur Clean not too long ago gave Quinn a vote of confidence.
“I wasn’t searching for any of these issues in that manner, however I positively appreciated it,” Quinn mentioned. “And I acknowledged that the questions go together with the territory once you fail extra assessments than you move. Definitely, these two groups, who’re robust and proud groups, have had disappointing seasons up up to now.”
The quarterback matchup will probably be within the highlight throughout what’s anticipated to be a cold day.
Inexperienced Bay’s Aaron Rodgers isn’t having his greatest season. He accomplished 31 of 50 passes for 233 yards within the loss to the Cardinals and broke Bart Starr’s franchise-record interception-free streak. Rodgers now has thrown 336 consecutive passes with out being picked off and is closing in on Tom Brady’s NFL-record 358.
“I believe all of us share within the accountability (of McCarthy’s firing). That is the hardest half,” Rodgers mentioned. “The gamers are those who’re enjoying. Clearly, coaches have accountability to organize and train and demand, however the gamers on the sector are performing and clearly our efficiency degree wasn’t such that we may hold Mike in his place.”
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s numbers seemingly battle with the staff’s destiny. He has accomplished 70.9 p.c of his passes with 25 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and a 109.three score.
After a three-game successful streak reversed a 1-Four begin, Atlanta has failed to achieve 20 factors in any of its 4 consecutive losses.
Atlanta ranks final within the NFL in dashing yards and 31st in dashing makes an attempt. That is hardly the form of steadiness that Quinn desires, however the Falcons have been damage by the lack of injured Professional Bowl operating again Devonta Freeman.
“Clearly on the final 4 video games is the place I felt like we hit a wall,” Quinn mentioned.