GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and set an NFL record for interception-free football, and the Green Bay Packers beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-20 Sunday to win their first game under interim head coach Joe Philbin.
Aaron Jones ran for a 29-yard score in the third quarter. The defense limited quarterback Matt Ryan after a game-opening touchdown drive to hand Atlanta its fifth straight loss and guarantee the Falcons a losing record for the first time since 2014.
The Packers (5-7-1) regained some swagger with Philbin taking over for the fired Mike McCarthy. They've still got work to do to avoid a losing record, but at least Green Bay snapped a three-game losing streak.
Rodgers was 21 of 32 for 196 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb in the left side of the end zone for a 27-7. That throw gave Rodgers 359 consecutive attempts without an interception, breaking the league record previously held by New England's Tom Brady (358 in 2010-11).
The Falcons (4-9) had trouble keeping up after their first series. When they did, they hurt themselves with eight defensive penalties. Linebacker Deion Jones also had a couple chances to snap Rodgers' interception streak but couldn't hang on each time.
Atlanta found some semblance of a running game that it hoped to get to open up play action. Yet the Falcons still endured a long drought after Ryan found Julio Jones for a 16-yard touchdown pass on an easy opening series.
By the time Ryan and Jones connected for another score, from 12 yards with 13:34 left in the game, Atlanta was still down by 20.
A botched snap in the red zone in the fourth quarter epitomized the Falcons' frustrating and injury-filled season. Atlanta drove to the 8 when the shotgun snap from center Alex Mack hit Mohamed Sanu's leg while the receiver was in motion. Bashaud Breeland recovered.
Ryan finished 28 of 42 for 262 yards and three scores, connecting with Justin Hardy for a 19-yard touchdown with 14 seconds left. Ryan also tossed a 22-yard interception returned for a score by Breeland in the second quarter.
He was outplayed by Rodgers, who also hurt Atlanta on the ground with trademark scrambles. A scrum broke out in the second quarter after cornerback Brian Poole hit Rodgers as the quarterback slid near the end of a 21-yard run to the Atlanta 27.
Pushing and shoving ensued, with Deion Jones and Packers center Corey Linsley each whistled for offsetting personal fouls. After a sack, the Packers still got a 48-yard field goal as time expired to take a 13-point halftime lead.
Falcons: Host the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 16.
Packers: Visit the Chicago Bears on Dec. 16.
The Falcons get back on the board with a Matt Ryan-to-Julio Jones touchdown. Packers - 34 Falcons - 14.
A pass interference call on Jimmy Graham brings back a Rodgers-to-Adams completion. The Packers are unable to score on the drive and punt.
The Falcons drive it down to the red zone, but turn it over. Bashaud Breeland picks up the fumble and the Packers take over.
The Packers fail to score on the fumble return and punt. The Falcons take over with a little over two minutes to go.
The Falcons score a touchdown but miss the extra point. Packers - 34 Falcons - 20.
The Packers OL takes another hit with Justin McCray injured on the first drive of the second half. Alex Light is coming in for McCray.
McCray is OK! He returns to the game.
Aaron Rodgers breaks Tom Brady's record for most pass attempts without an interception (359) on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb. Packers - 27 Falcons - 7. Congrats, No. 12! That's 27 unanswered points for the Packers.
The Falcons next drive ends with Clay Matthews sack of Matt Ryan. Falcons punt.
Aaron Jones puts on an absolute clinic and scores a touchdown on a 29-yard run. Packers - 34 Falcons - 7. 34 unanswered points for the Packers. It marks five straight games with a rushing TD for Jones.
The Packers defense once again stops the Falcons and forces a punt.
The Packers offense fails to answer on the next drive and they punt.
Kenny Clark, who left with an elbow injury, has returned from the locker room.
Rodgers is sacked on 3rd down, and wants a face mask penalty against the Falcons. Nothing is called. Mason Crosby hits a 50-yard field goal to cap off the drive. Packers - 10 Falcons - 7. That's Crosby's 300th career field goal.
Kenny Clark is back in the game on defense.
Bashaud Breeland intercepts Matt Ryan and returns it 22 yards for a pick six. Crosby hits the extra point. Packers - 17 Falcons - 7. It's Breeland's second INT of the season and the team's 13th. It's the Packers' first defensive touchdown of the season.
The Packers defense steps up to stop Atlanta. Falcons punt.
At the two-minute mark, Rodgers breaks loose, gets a first down and gets additional help from Falcon penalties.
Rodgers is sacked on the drive--the third for the Falcons on the day.
Rodgers breaks loose again for another first down. The Falcons' Brian Poole hits him on the head as Rodgers slides. Packers OL Lucas Patrick takes offense and there is a scuffle on the field. Penalties are called and the Packers are moved back to 3rd-and-1.
Mason Crosby hits a 48-yard field goal. Packers - 20 Falcons - 7 at half.
Rodgers half stats: 13-of-19, 116 yards passing; 44 yards running
The Packers win the coin toss and defer. Atlanta starts with Matt Ryan at QB. The Packers challenge a 28-yard completion from Ryan to Julio Jones. The play was broken up by Jaire Alexander, who knocked the ball out of Jones' hand. To the surprise of the coaches, analysts and crowd, the completion stands.
Philbin challenges a second straight Ryan-to-Jones completion call. It took the interim HC about a minute and thirty seconds to use up the team's challenges for the game. The completion stands.
The Falcons score on another Ryan-to-Jones catch. Falcons - 7 Packers - 0. Jones has 63 yards on the first drive of the game.
The Packers start out strong, including an impressive Rodgers-to-Adams 21-yard completion for 1st down. The duo completes the drive with a 7-yard touchdown. That's Adams' 11th red zone touchdown this season--easily the best in the league. Rodgers is 6-for-7 on the drive. Packers - 7 Falcons - 7.
Adams had limped off the field prior to the touchdown and was checked out by the team doctor on the sideline.
Packers DL Kenny Clark has left the game with an elbow injury and his return is questionable.
Matt Ryan fumbles on 3rd down but the Falcons recover and try a 53-yard field goal. It's no good. Packers - 7 Falcons - 7.
The Packers are a quick three-and-out after a dropped pass by Jimmy Graham and a sack of Aaron Rodgers.
The Falcons answer with a quick three-and-out. Falcons punt.
QB Tim Boyle
CB Natrell Jamerson
OL Lane Taylor
OL Byron Bell
OL Bryan Bulaga
OLB Kendall Donnerson
DL James Looney