■ Joe Thomas is a marvel for a team that is frequently not worth watching. The veteran left tackle of the Cleveland Browns, who has started in each of the 162 games of his 11-second career, extended his incredible streak to 10,062 snaps without taking a play off. Since Thomas’ rookie season, the Browns have had 29 different players attempt a pass, but only one play left tackle.
Falcons Outplay Packers Again
The Green Bay Packers put up a fight in the second half, but in a rematch of last year’s N.F.C. championship game, they once again found themselves on the losing side, falling to the Atlanta Falcons, 34-23.
Things got out of hand in the first half, when the Packers were outgained by 155 yards and outscored 24-7. It got immediately worse when the second half started. Aaron Rodgers was hit while throwing, and the ball was scooped up by Desmond Trufant, who ran it into the end zone to stretch the lead to 31-7.
From that point forward, the Packers seemed to come alive, but it was far too little and far too late.
In reaction to Atlanta’s dismantling of the team’s secondary in the playoffs, Green Bay spent the off-season rebuilding that unit, and while Kevin King proved to be a formidable addition, they still did not have enough to slow down Matt Ryan.
Ryan, who threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns against Green Bay in the playoffs, was not quite as prolific in this game, completing 18 of 28 passes for 252 yards and one touchdown. Devonta Freeman added two rushing touchdowns and the rest of the Falcons’ scoring came on the fumble return and two field goals by Matt Bryant.
In the difficult loss, Rodgers did get one highlight to remember when a 1-yard shovel pass to Montgomery gave him his 300th career passing touchdown. Rodgers accomplished the feat in 564 fewer attempts than Peyton Manning, who was the previous record-holder. But Rodgers was unlikely to celebrate on a day in which he completed 33 of 50 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns, but also accounted for two turnovers.
More troubling than the loss was the fact that the Packers lost several key players to injuries. Mike Daniels, perhaps the team’s best defender, was lost early in the game to a hamstring injury,…