GREEN BAY — Atlanta’s defensive statistics don’t rank all that highly for a division leader, but one thing the Packers have noticed is how the Falcons generate potential for turnovers with their pass rush.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday that six of the eight fumbles the Falcons have caused on defense have come from “edge pressure,” meaning a pass rusher getting to the QB and knocking the ball free.
“It’s highlighted in their profile,” McCarthy said. “They take away the football. They play with a lot of energy, they fly around. We’ve addressed it. It’s all part of getting to know your opponent.”
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has struggled with ball security off and on this season. He has lost fumbles against the Vikings, Cowboys and Bears, an outlier of a rough stretch for a quarterback who has protected the football very well over the majority of his career. Rodgers all but confessed his lost fumble against Chicago, which was recovered for a Bears touchdown, lit a fire under him and he went on to lead three straight TD drives.
McCarthy didn’t provide much of an update on injuries. The full injury report with game designations will be released later Friday. He said the fact that the Packers are playing indoors on an artificial surface on Sunday at the Georgia Dome will not have any bearing on whether injured players get medical clearance to play.
The Packers have practiced inside the Don Hutson Center throughout the week, but only because the weather hasn’t been good enough to practice outside. McCarthy said with better weather, the team would have practiced outside on Wednesday and Thursday and saved the indoor workout for Saturday this week.
“I’m of the opinion you don’t have to be on the field turf every single day,” McCarthy said. “Football is meant to be played on grass and frankly it’s better training environment.”