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Packers-Falcons matchup of the day: Thursday

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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By Dan Arkush

Here’s a look at a key matchup heading into the Packers’ divisional playoff game against No. 1 seed Atlanta at the Georgia Dome Saturday evening:

Packers WR Greg Jennings vs. Falcons CBs Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes

Jennings, who very deservedly was selected to his first Pro Bowl this season, took over after TE Jermichael Finley went down for the season in Week Five as the primary receiving weapon in Green Bay’s passing offense. But in the Packers’ wild-card win in Philadelphia last week, Jennings was a virtual nonfactor (only one catch for eight yards), as the Eagles opted to keep both safeties back to specifically prevent him from being the big-play force downfield that he was most of the season. In the earlier game against the Falcons in Atlanta in Week 12, Jennings caught five of the eight passes thrown his way for a team-high 119 yards (23.8 yards per catch), with a long of 35.

With Jennings expected to shift around to different spots throughout the game this Saturday, as he has done much of the season, and Robinson and Grimes normally staying put and splitting the field on the right and left side, respectively, both Atlanta’s starting corners are likely to spend some time covering Green Bay's No. 1 receiver.

Both Robinson, a high-priced free-agent addition and former first-round pick, and the scrappy Grimes are undersized and can be picked on. In the first game against Green Bay this season, they combined for nine tackles.

The speedy Robinson is excellent in run support and likes to challenge receivers. He is tough and aggressive, but he hasn’t been the same since suffering a knee injury in 2007.

Grimes, who had five interceptions this season, actually has been as tough a matchup for receivers this season as Robinson, if not tougher. Grimes is not as fast as Robinson, and his tackling leaves a lot to be desired. But he is feisty, very fundamentally sound and has shown a knack for making key plays.

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