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Packers-Falcons matchup of the day: Thursday

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Nov. 25, 2010 @ 1:37 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Here’s a look at a key matchup heading into the Week 12 game between the Packers and Falcons in Atlanta.

Packers SS Charlie Peprah vs. Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez

Gonzalez's numbers are down a bit this season, in great part because of how amazing WR Roddy White has been, and at the age of 34, he has lost some of his burst. But he is still frequently double-teamed because of a rare combination of size and superior athleticism that continues to make him one of the league’s better tight ends.

Gonzalez is Atlanta’s second-leading receiver behind White with 45 catches for 448 yards and three TDs, and if the Packers are able to slow down White, Falcons QB Matt Ryan will not hesitate to counter in the direction of Gonzalez, who still is able to line up all over the field and bring down balls in heavy traffic with the best of them.

With both Atari Bigby (hamstring) and Anthony Smith (ankle) hurting, Peprah runs the risk of getting worn out and might have to count on extra help from Jarrett Bush. Peprah has been a pleasant surprise this season, and he did a decent job in the past two games holding two pretty good tight ends — the Cowboys’ Jason Witten (three catches for 44 yards) and the Vikings’ Visanthe Shiancoe (two catches for six yards) in check.

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