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Ryan, Sanu overcome rejuvenated Rodgers in thriller

Mohamed Sanu hauled in five passes for 50 yards and a touchdown on the Falcons' game-winning drive, leading Atlanta to a 33-32 comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers in a Week 8 thriller. Here's what we learned:

  1. No Randall Cobb, no Ty Montgomery, no Eddie Lacy, no James Starks, no Jared Cook -- no problem for Green Bay's offense. This game featured vintage Aaron Rodgers, tossing four touchdown passes and adding a career-high 60 yards on the ground -- his finest overall performance since September of 2015. Rodgers kept plays alive with his legs and consistently hit throws that he had been missing too often this season. He also caught defensive end Brooks Reed nonchalantly walking off the field, granting Green Bay a key first down on a 12-men penalty while saving Jordy Nelson from a brain cramp on a failed third-down conversion in the red zone.

Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis and Geronimo Allison each corralled his first touchdown of the season on Sunday -- the first catches as Packers for the latter two. Rodgers lacks a running game and a reliable downfield element in his aerial attack, but the arrow is finally pointing up again. Over his past six quarters going back to last week, he has completed 48 of 64 passes (74 percent) for 422 yards, seven touchdowns and a 128.5 passer rating.

  1. Matt Ryan has been one of the league's most successful comeback artists since entering the NFL in 2008. With Julio Jones hobbled by a tender ankle and drawing extra coverage, Ryan and Sanu made magic on the game-winning, 11-play touchdown drive to answer Rodgers' 13-play scoring drive late in the fourth quarter. A strong MVP candidate, Ryan has completed 69.2 percent of his passes at 9.5 yards per attempt for a lofty 115.8 passer rating at the season's midpoint. He's on pace to set career highs across the board.
  1. Jones' red-zone drop on Atlanta's final drive was his lone target of the second half after he twisted his ankle in the second quarter. The Falcons had just three second-half possessions: the game-winner, a three-and-out and a run-heavy drive that lasted nearly eight minutes. It's tough to tell just how much Jones' injury limited his production.
  1. The pass rushing tandem of Vic Beasley and Adrian Clayborn have combined for 10 sacks over the past four games, but the Falcons lack the defensive backbone of a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They have surrendered 26 or more points in seven of eight games this season.
  1. One week after Montgomery became the first player this season with double-digit receptions in back-to-back games, teammate Davante Adams accomplished the feat. A liability while playing through a high-ankle sprain last year, Adams has emerged as Rodgers' most reliable target over the past month.
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