Saturday November 28th, 2015 8:42PM

Packers end 5-game slide, hold off Falcons

By The Associated Press
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN -- The Green Bay Packers finally found a way to win without injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Matt Flynn threw for 258 yards and the Packers' struggling defense forced a key fourth-quarter turnover in a 22-21 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday to snap a five-game winless slide.

Mike Neal's sack forced Matt Ryan to fumble. Defensive lineman Johnny Jolly scooped up the loose ball and celebrated with a little belly dance at chilly Lambeau Field.

Four plays later, Flynn found Andrew Quarless for a 2-yard touchdown pass for a 22-21 lead with about 12 minutes left for the Packers (6-6-1).

The score completed a comeback from an 11-point halftime deficit and whipped the fans bundled up in parkas, fleece vests and knit caps into a frigid frenzy.

It was 9 degrees when the game started, with a wind chill of minus-1. The stadium looked as if it was encased in a snow globe at times with much of the game played while light, powdery snowflakes gently fell to the worn turf.

Matt Bryant missed a 52-yard field goal into the wind with 6:42 left for Atlanta (3-10). The Falcons got to the 33 with 2 minutes left, but Tony Gonzalez dropped a short pass from Ryan with tight coverage by Jarrett Bush.

Flynn finished 24 of 32 with an interception in his second start for Rodgers, who's been out since fracturing his left collarbone on the first series of a 27-20 loss to the Bears on Nov. 4.

It's been a struggle ever since for Green Bay, which fell from first place in the NFC North to fighting to stay in the playoff chase.

Sunday's win gave them a huge lift in an injury-filled season, with Rodgers appearing to be getting closer to a return.

The comeback overshadowed linebacker Sean Weatherspoon's lumbering, 71-yard interception return that gave the Falcons a 21-10 lead with 23 seconds left before halftime.

A short pass from Flynn appeared to carom off linebacker Paul Worrilow's shoe and chest and into the hands of Weatherspoon. He slowly trudged his way back up the field past Packers who apparently thought the ball touched the ground.

Lineman T.J. Lang had the best chance to take down Weatherspoon, but whiffed on a tackle around the 22-yard line.

From there, the 6-foot-2, 244-pound Weatherspoon had a slow-motion escort into the end zone.

He celebrated with a break, kneeling for several minutes on the sideline to catch his breath after giving the Falcons an 11-point lead. It turned out to be their last score of the game.

Ryan finished 20 of 35 for 206 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while Steven Jackson had 71 yards rushing on 15 carries.

Otherwise, a Green Bay defense that had allowed more than 200 yards rushing in each of its previous two games bounced back.

Mason Crosby kicked field goals from 40, 33 and 25 yards, the final one with 45 seconds left in the third quarter to get Green Bay within 21-16.

Quarless finished with six catches for 66 yards, by far his best game of the season in place of Jermichael Finley, who is out for the season with a neck injury.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Falcons fire offensive, defensive line coaches
The Atlanta Falcons have fired defensive line coach Ray Hamilton and offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn.
7:02PM ( 1 year ago )
Best, worst of Falcons' 4-12 season
Best Game: They'd been eliminated from playoff contention previous week vs. New Orleans, but the Falcons showed some heart with Dec. 1 overtime victory over Bills in Toronto.
6:21PM ( 1 year ago )
Gonzalez's career ends with another Falcons loss
Tony Gonzalez is ready for the next chapter of his life.
9:47PM ( 1 year ago )
Professional Sports
Run game, defense helps Dogs seal victory over Jackets, 9-win campaign
Mark Richt trotted over to a corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium, where the Georgia band played and the red-clad faithful had nothing but cheers for the embattled coach.
5:00PM ( 3 hours ago )
Watson puts up 4 TDs and No. 1 Clemson moves to 12-0 with 37-32 win over South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Deshaun Watson isn't giving up on Clemson's step-by-step approach, not when it's worked so well.Watson had another big day, running for three touchdowns and passing for a fourth...
4:59PM ( 3 hours ago )
PLAYOFFS: Three goes into four, as area trio earn semifinal berths
Once the dust settled on Friday night, northeast Georgia found three teams still standing in the state football playoffs -- and it was so nearly four...
9:01AM ( 11 hours ago )
(VIDEO) Class AAAA: Buford stomps into ninth straight state semifinal
Were it any other team the number alone would seem absurd, but Buford football could care less about numbers at this time of year -- at least any number but "one."
By AccessWDUN Staff
8:58AM ( 11 hours ago )
(VIDEO) Class AAAAAA: Mill Creek routs Archer to advance to first semifinals
Mill Creek used a dominating defensive performance to whip Archer 23-0 and advance to its first-ever semifinals in a Class AAAAAA quarterfinal matchup Friday night at Mill Creek Community Stadium.
8:58AM ( 11 hours ago )