White Seeking Counterpunch

Falcons receiver Roddy White talks about his limited production when the teams met back in Week 12. Still, Matt Ryan completed 24-of-28 passes as the Falcons won 20-17.

Look for the Atlanta Falcons to try to get wide receiver Roddy White unleashed against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round playoff game.

White was held to five catches and 49 yards, his second-lowest output of the season, when the Falcons faced the Packers on Nov. 28. Tampa Bay held him to 49 yards and New Orleans held him to 43.

The Packers mixed up their coverages well to slow down White in the Falcons' 20-17 victory.

"They kind of mixed it up," White said. "To start the game, (Charles) Woodson kind of followed me around for the first part of the game and then he went inside a little bit.

"They put 38 (Tramon Williams) on me for a little while. Nick (Collins) was always cheating to my side and things like that. They did a pretty good job of doing what they do well. They have some good athletes back there. Those guys move around and make a lot of plays."

White, a six-year veteran, has had an extraordinary four seasons since coming into his own in 2007. Since that breakthrough season, he's averaged 92.75 catches, 1,281.5 yards receiving and 8.5 touchdowns a season.

White, who signed a six-year, $50-million contract after a brief holdout last season, caught 115 passes, which set a Falcons record and won the league title by four over the Colts' Reggie Wayne. He was selected to the Pro Bowl for the third straight season.

This will be White's second playoff game. Back in 2008, in the wild-card round, White caught 11 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown in the 30-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

White figured out how he's going to get open against the Packers.

"(Running back) Michael Turner, if we get the running game going, that will make it a whole lot easier," White said.

The Falcons will have to be on the same page against Dom Capers' defenses. They got a chance to see his work as the Packers befuddled Philadelphia in the wild-card round.

"They played a good game," White said. "They went after Michael (Vick) a little bit. They did a good job of just covering guys and on third-and-long they were dropping eight and getting into the passing lanes. They mixed it up a whole lot and gave Michael a whole lot of different looks."

The Falcons, relying on an intermediate passing attack, averaged 222.9 yards passing per game, which ranked 15th in the league. In the Week 12 game, quarterback Matt Ryan was an efficient 24-of-28 for 197 yards with one touchdown.

The Packers have one of the top pass defenses in the league, in part due to the coverage skills of cornerbacks Woodson, Williams and standout rookie Sam Shelds. They gave up just 194.2 yards passing per game, which ranked fifth in the league, topped the charts with an opponent passer rating of 67.2 and finished second with 24 interceptions.



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