|Packers DT BJ Raji on Falcons' after-the-whistle chippiness: 'I think it's a lack of talent on their part.' (AP)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
Given how things turned out, with the Packers overcoming a 14-6 halftime deficit in Atlanta to outscore the Falcons 19-0 in the second half and run their record to 5-0, you'd think there wouldn't be much to complain about. And perhaps other than Green Bay's offensive line, which suffered a key injury and struggled at times to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers, coach Mike McCarthy was pretty happy with his team's effort.
But it wasn't all smiles in the locker room after the game. Some Packers' players took exception to the way the Falcons played, citing late hits and low blocks, among other things.
"It’s unnecessary,” defensive end Ryan Pickett said, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “They call it playing physical. But it’s after the whistle. It’s not physical. We know it watching tape that you they like to hit after the whistle. You have to watching yourself around the piles.
"They point at you if you react. We just felt like if we just punch them upfront at the start it would end that. It’s frustrating to a point, but we know we have to dominate them upfront in between that stuff.”
Then there was Packers linebacker AJ Hawk who, after one play, was pushed in the back by Falcons' offensive lineman Joe Hawley. Hawk retaliated, Hawley took a dive, and Hawk was promptly flagged for unnecessary roughness.
“I’m not that strong,” Hawk said. “I wish I was strong enough to do that.”
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 09: Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Atlanta Falcons is tackled by A.J. Hawk #50 of the Green Bay Packers at Georgia Dome on October 9, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Even Cristiano Ronaldo encourages Hawley to tone it down a tad.
Packers nose tackle BJ Raji was wholly unimpressed with the Falcons' tactics.
"Great teams don't indulge in the kind of cheap stuff the Falcons do," he said. "We're the champions and we play that way. We walk away from the stuff they pull. These guys are coached to play after the whistle. I don't know what the deal is. I think it's a lack of talent on their part. We didn't worry about any of that. We came out and played our game."
Lack of football talent? Maybe. Lack of acting talent? Most certainly not. (Maybe the Falcons should act like a winning football team. Problem solved.)
Aaron Rodgers threw for 396 yards and a pair of touchdowns to rally the Packers from an early 14-point hole, keeping Green Bay unbeaten with a 25-14 victory Sunday night over the Falcons.
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