Pack bounces back from slow start to beat Falcons
ATLANTA (AP) — Aaron Rodgers threw for 396 yards and a pair of touchdowns, leading the unbeaten Green Bay Packers back from a sluggish start for a 25-14 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night.
The high-scoring Packers (5-0) trailed 14-0 early in the second quarter and were held without a touchdown in the first half by Atlanta (2-3), which was trying to make up for an embarrassing 48-21 loss to Green Bay in the playoffs last season.
But after settling for three field goals by Mason Crosby, Rodgers finally got rolling. He connected with James Jones on a 70-yard touchdown that gave Green Bay its first lead late in the third. Then, on the first play of the fourth quarter, Rodgers connected with Greg Jennings on a 29-yard scoring play that stretched the lead to 22-14.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
ATLANTA (AP) — Aaron Rodgers, kept out of the end zone for almost three quarters, finally broke out with a 70-yard touchdown pass to James Jones, and the Green Bay Packers took a 15-14 lead over Atlanta entering the final quarter Sunday night.
Rogers, coming off a win over Denver in which he threw for four touchdowns and ran for two, was frustrated before finding Jones on the big play with 3:53 remaining in the third. Jones beat safety Thomas DeCoud and then outran James Sanders for the Packers' first touchdown.
Rodgers' pass for the 2-point conversion was incomplete.
Before the TD, the Packers' only points came on three field goals by Mason Crosby, including a 56-yarder in the third quarter that matched his record for the longest in franchise history.
Matt Ryan threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Roddy White in the first quarter for Atlanta. Michael Turner capped another long drive with a 1-yard scoring run in the second, and the Falcons led 14-9 at halftime.
The Falcons' two touchdown drives combined to last 12 minutes, 50 seconds.
The Packers' only first-quarter possession ended with a turnover. Running back Ryan Grant, who returned after missing a game with a bruised kidney, fumbled at the Atlanta 40 when he was hit by cornerback Brent Grimes. Defensive tackle Vance Walker recovered.
The Falcons, looking to avenge a home loss to the Packers in the playoffs that ended their 2010 season, took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards on 13 plays. Ryan had a 13-yard pass to Harry Douglas for a big third-down conversion. Rookie Julio Jones gained 17 yards on an end-around run on the next play.
On first down from the Packers 5, Ryan rolled to his right before throwing across his body to his left to find White alone in the end zone for the touchdown. Ryan allowed the play to develop then made the throw just before he was hit by linebacker Erik Walden.
After Grant's fumble, Ryan led another marathon drive that includes passes of 17 yards to Jason Snelling and 16 yards to Jones. Turner scored on first down from the 1.
Green Bay right tackle Bryan Bulaga missed his second straight game with a knee injury, and the Packers had left tackle Chad Clifton leave with a right hamstring injury in the second quarter. The team listed his status as doubtful for the remainder of the game.
The Falcons had safety William Moore (shoulder) and backup cornerback Chris Owens (head) knocked out of the game with injuries.
In a surprise, Atlanta defensive end John Abraham was held out with a hip injury. It was uncertain when he was hurt.
Kroy Biermann, who started 14 games last season, replaced Abraham.
Crosby also kicked a 56-yard field goal at Philadelphia on Sept. 12, 2010.