Green Bay fell on the road to the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 25-24 on Sunday, September 17, after grabbing a second-quarter lead and holding onto it for most of the afternoon. Love still played a good game, completing 14-of-25 passes for 151 yards and putting up his second consecutive three-touchdown performance. However, he and his young offense came up short on the final drive of the contest when they had a chance to regain the lead.
The Packers started that drive at their own 25-yard line with 57 seconds remaining on the clock. That’s the same place the drive ended three incompletions later. Love talked about the offense’s fourth-quarter missteps, which rendered Green Bay unable to get the final drive off the ground.
“I think the one to Romeo [Doubs] on the sideline, I think I missed,” Love said during the postgame press conference. “And the first one to [Jayden Reed], we weren’t on the same page when he was breaking on the route.”
Mistakes Defined Packers’ Late-Game Performance Against Falcons
Errors were an unfortunate, although not entirely unpredictable, theme for the young Packers offense down the stretch of its first road contest of the season.
On Green Bay’s second-to-last drive of the day, which also began at the 25-yard line, the Packers found themselves in a fourth-down and one-yard-to-go scenario at their own 34-yard line. Up by two points at with less than seven minutes to play in regulation, head coach Matt LaFleur made a gutsy call to go for it.
The play was a quarterback sneak, though how it might have turned out will never be known, as referees blew the play dead and whistled Love for a false start.
“Yeah, I just messed up the operation with the cadence on that one. And so not everybody got the call to get the sneak, so I just messed the operation up right there,” Love explained. “I said the wrong word, so it’s pretty much not a play until I give the live word … and I gave the wrong live word on that one.”
Packers Produce Solid Effort Without Aaron Jones, Christian Watson
Jones missed the contest with a hamstring injury after tweaking the muscle in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears. Watson suffered a hamstring injury of his own during the preseason and missed his second consecutive outing due to that issue.
“It’s tough not having those guys out there, but it’s never an excuse. It’s always next man up,” Love said. “I think guys did step up, but it sucks not having them.”
Reed was excellent in his second game as a pro, making four catches for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks also hauled in two receptions for 40 yards and the first score of his NFL career.
Backup running back A.J. Dillon bounced back after a lackluster showing in Week 1, tallying 55 yards on 15 carries.