Packers lose another close game
ATLANTA - The Green Bay Packers again fell to second place in the NFC North Division with their 20-17 loss at Atlanta Sunday.
Matt Bryant booted a 47-yard field goal with nine seconds left as the Falcons improved their conference-leading record to 9-2. The Packers tied the game with 56 seconds left after Aaron Rodgers threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Jordy Nelson. But on the ensuing kickoff, Green Bay drew a 15-yard penalty when Matt Wilhelm made an illegal face-mask tackle on Atlanta's Eric Weems. That put the ball at the Green Bay 49, allowing the Falcons to coast into field goal range for the veteran Bryant to win it.
Rodgers had a huge day, completing 26-of-35 passes for 344 yards and a touchdown. He was also the Packers' leading rusher with 12 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown - and the Pack's regular running backs only had 26 yards. Rodgers said he cost Green Bay the victory when he fumbled the ball away at the Atlanta goal line in the second quarter. It ended a streak of 15 straight quarters without a turnover - the Packers' longest streak since 1963.
Michael Turner ran for 110 yards and a touchdown for Atlanta, and Tony Gonzalez caught six of Ryan's passes for 51 yards and a score. Greg Jennings was the Packers' leading receiver with five catches for 119 yards.
Atlanta won its fifth straight. The Falcons are now 19-1 at home with Matt Ryan as their quarterback. He threw for 198 yards and a touchdown. The Packers outgained Atlanta 418-yards-to-295 -- but the Falcons held the ball almost three-and-a-half minutes longer.
Green Bay had four injuries. They lost corner Pat Lee in the first quarter when he re-injured an ankle. Tight end Spencer Havner aggravated the hamstring that caused him to sit out for a month earlier this season. Linebacker Brandon Chillar re-injured a previously strained shoulder. And running back Dimitri Nance had a concussion.
Green Bay ended a four-game winning streak and dropped to 7-4. The Packers will host San Francisco next Sunday.