First Look at ... Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons, who were blown out by Green Bay in the playoffs last year, are a disappointing 2-2 but are coming off a victory at Seattle on Sunday. One of the players who knows he must step up his game is receiver Roddy White.

The Atlanta Falcons have somehow stumbled out to a 2-2 record and now are pointing squarely at the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.

On their march to the Vince Lombardi trophy, the Packers trounced the Falcons 48-21 in the divisional round of the playoffs last season. The Falcons were the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the playoffs last season.

"I'd be lying to you if I didn't tell you we didn't remember it because it was embarrassing," tight end Tony Gonzalez said. "They are a good football team. That's why they won the Super Bowl. I'm not going to take anything away from them."

The Falcons know they'll need a much better effort than what they have shown this season to compete with the Packers, who moved to 4-0 after routing Denver 49-23.

"We just have to make sure that we come out there ready to go because they are playing really good football right now," Gonzalez said. "It's one of those things like when Philly came to town. We've got to bring our 'A game' and good things will happen."

The Falcons are trying to figure out how to deploy their weapons on offense.

In the first half against Seattle, they called 22 runs and had 21 pass attempts. With that type of balance they were able to take a 24-3 lead, but they had to hold on for a 30-28 win when their pass defense started leaking yards and touchdowns.

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White, for the second game in a row, two dropped passes in the fourth quarter. One of his drops against Tampa Bay could have given the Falcons a lead and perhaps avoided a 16-13 defeat.

Against Seattle, his drops were not as crucial, but could have helped the offense run out the clock.

"Right now, I'm not playing at a high level," White said. "I'm not really helping my team. I have to fix myself so that we can perform better. We'll get better."

White was targeted on 11 passes. He made six catches for 78 yards, including a 26-yarder that set up Michael Turner's 1-yard touchdown run that give the Falcons a 21-7 lead.

White has been bothered by a deep thigh bruise. He was listed on the Friday injury report as being questionable for the game.

He doesn't want to use the injury as an excuse, even though he hasn't fully practiced for the last two weeks.

"As long as I'm out there, I expect to play at a high level," White said.

Quarterback Matt Ryan plans to keep throwing to White.

"My thinking is, Roddy is going to make those plays," Ryan said. "He has done it for such a long time and he's going to continue to do it for us. It's a long season. There are still a lot of plays still for him to make and he's going to make them. My confidence never wavers with him."

BY THE NUMBERS: The Falcons scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time this season when Ryan hit Gonzalez for a one-yard score. Since 2008, the Falcons are now 18-6 when they score a touchdown or field goal on their first drive on the game.

TRENDING: Rookie Julio Jones has helped to carry the passing attack. He finished with 11 catches for 127 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard game. He was targeted 17 times against Seattle.

Player notes

— TE Tony Gonzalez has 92 career touchdown receptions and ranks ninth on the NFL's all-time touchdown receptions list. He has caught a touchdown in each of the last three games and has four TD receptions this season.

— LB Curtis Lofton made his second career interception after LB Mike Peterson tipped a pass from Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson. The interception marked the 23rd consecutive regular season game that Atlanta has forced at least one turnover -- the longest active streak in the NFL.

— RB Michael Turner notched his second touchdown run of the season after breaking off a 21-yard run to the end zone. Turner would add a second touchdown run later in the second quarter, punching the ball in from 1 yard. The score was his 42nd as a Falcon. Only Adrian Peterson has recorded more rushing touchdowns over the last four seasons.

— S James Sanders and S Thomas Decoud combined to save a touchdown in the third quarter. Sanders hit TE Zach Miller just as he was about to cross the end zone, dislodging the ball and allowing DeCoud to intercept the loose ball.

— QB Matt Ryan finished the game completing 28 of 42 pass attempts for 291 yards and one touchdown with a passer rating of 94.4. The Pro Bowl signal-caller has thrown at least one touchdown pass in three straight games and 21 of his last 23 games.


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