News & Analysis

NFL Week 4 PFF ReFocused: Green Bay Packers 30, Atlanta Falcons 16

Without his top two receivers Monday night, Aaron Rodgers showed why he is PFF’s highest-graded player through the first three weeks of the 2020 NFL season, as he tossed four touchdowns and 327 yards en route to a 30-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Story of the Game

The Falcons avoided a third double-digit collapse this season, but that was because Matt Ryan and the offense looked stagnant against the Green Bay Packers' defense. The key issue for Atlanta's offense was a lack of explosive plays compared to past weeks. In Weeks 1-3, the Falcons had 27 plays that gained 15-plus-yards (tied third in NFL). Meanwhile, Atlanta mustered only six such plays on Monday Night Football, with five coming in the second half while down double digits.

The elite duo of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley was held in check against Green Bay after each was hobbled by injury coming into the game. Jones reaggravated his hamstring and didn't return after halftime, while Ridley put forth a zero-catch performance on a season-low four targets.

Without Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, Rodgers had to get creative with who he was throwing the ball to. Seven different Green Bay receivers caught passes, and six of them had at least 20 yards receiving.

The big star receiver of the night was Robert “Big Bob” Tonyan, who caught six passes for 98 yards and three touchdown passes. Tonyan is now tied for the league lead in receiving touchdowns (5) with Mike Evans, and he joins Tyler Lockett and Tyler Higbee as the only players to catch three touchdowns in a game this season.

Green Bay’s defensive line pressured Ryan 14 times on the night and brought him down four times. Three sacks and six pressures came from 2019 Pro Bowler Za’Darius Smith, who won on 20.5% of his pass-rushing snaps.

Oct 5, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Atlanta Falcons fullback Keith Smith (40) is tackled by Green Bay Packers linebacker Krys Barnes (51) during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie Watch

Second-round pick AJ Dillon played minimal snaps once again but received one carry for three yards after having zero last week.

Falcons guard Matt Hennessy saw 23 pass-blocking snaps and allowed one sack in his showing.

On the other side of the ball, Green Bay linebacker Krys Barnes totaled six tackles and one pressure. Edge rusher Jonathan Garvin pressured Ryan once, and safety Vernon Scott did not contribute to the box score but was on the field for 11 snaps.

For the Falcons, Mykal Walker and Jaylinn Hawkins combined for six tackles, while Marlon Davidson was on the field for 13 defensive snaps.

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