The Green Bay Packers (9-3) have arguably been the most dominant team in the NFL this season, and they could be in for another big win in Week 14. They’ll host the Atlanta Falcons (5-7) on “Monday Night Football,” as they further their quest for the top seed in the NFC.
Green Bay is tied with four other teams for the best record in football. Their victories have come by an average of 18.4 points per game, and they have five wins by at least 20 points. The 9-3 New England Patriots also have won five games by 20 points or more, but Green Bay defeated them last week.
Even though Monday’s game is a battle of two first-place teams, the Packers are 12.5-point favorites at home. They are undefeated at Lambeau Field in 2014, and have gone 6-1 against teams with a losing record.
Aaron Rodgers has been the biggest reason for Green Bay’s success, and he appears to be on his way to winning his second MVP award. He leads the NFL with an 118.6 passer rating, and has thrown 32 touchdown passes and three interceptions.
No quarterback has been nearly as consistent as Rodgers, and he’s been especially dominant against poor pass defenses. His only two passer ratings of less than 90.0 came against the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions, two of the best defensive teams in the league. The Falcons rank last in the NFL, allowing 284.9 passing yards per game.
The Packers’ No.2 scoring offense has propelled them atop the NFC North, but their defense has more than done its job. Green Bay has held its last four opponents to 21 points or fewer, including the Patriots, who are averaging 31.5 points per game. The Packers are undefeated when scoring at least 24 points in a game.
Atlanta is playing their best football of the season, having won three of their last four games. In Week 13, the Falcons upset the Arizona Cardinals, who had entered the contest with the league’s best record. Atlanta scored 29 points against Arizona, who has the No.4 scoring defense in football.
The Falcons had a few offensive outbursts to start the season, but the team has had a much more difficult time scoring since their 37-point and 56-point games in two of the first three weeks. Atlanta hasn’t scored more than 29 points in any of their last nine contests, while Green Bay has scored at least 38 points in five games. The over/under on Monday is 56 points.
The recent success of the Falcons, however, has come against mostly subpar competition. They defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers, who have a combined record of 5-18-1. After a home loss to the Cleveland Browns, Atlanta gave Arizona their second straight loss with Drew Stanton at quarterback. The Falcons have lost four of their five matchups against teams that are above .500.
Not only have the Packers been unbeatable at home, but the Falcons and Matt Ryan are not as good on the road. Atlanta’s quarterback has thrown for 13 touchdowns, four interceptions and a 68.8 completion percentage at home, compared to eight scores, six picks and a 63.2 completion percentage away from the Georgia Dome. Ryan has a career 98.2 passer rating at home and an 85.1 passer rating on the road.
Prediction: Green Bay over Atlanta, 38-23