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Packers-Falcons matchup of the day: Friday

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Jan. 14, 2011 @ 2:38 p.m. ET
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 CB Tramon Williams vs. Falcons WR Roddy White

With Packers CB Charles Woodson likely to be spending more time in the slot concentrating on Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez, who was Atlanta’s most effective receiving weapon in the Falcons’ 20-17 victory over Green Bay in Week 12, look for Williams to be primarily entrusted with defending White in what shapes up as a potentially scintillating matchup.

Williams has continued to be the Packers’ top defender down the stretch. He completely shut out Johnny Knox two weeks ago in the Week 17 win over the Bears, and he picked up where he left off last week in Philadelphia matched up mostly against DeSean Jackson, culminating a terrific effort with a last-minute leaping interception in the Packers' endzone.

In Week 12, Williams registered seven tackles, and White, a Pro Bowl selection for the third consecutive season, was held in check pretty effectively with five catches (he was targeted seven times) for only 49 yards, two less than Gonzalez.

White, who led the league in catches with 115 and finished second in receiving yards with 1,389, is a force both underneath and downfield, despite not being overly fast. Strong and physical, White has an uncanny knack for getting open and an excellent chemistry with QB Matt Ryan. He usually comes down with balls in traffic with his 41-inch vertical leap and presents a worthy challenge for Williams, whose anticipation and instincts have gotten better and better.

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