The 2017 NFL season opened with a number of teams contending for the top of the NFC. The largest favorites included the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys. The Packers opened the 2017 season with a decisive win over the Seahawks, the Green Bay defense almost completely shutting down the powerful Seahawks offense. They beat the Cowboys in the playoffs last year and proved to be the better team in that matchup.

However, one thing that hangs over the head of the Packers is their loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game last season.

If the Packers can avenge their loss this Sunday over the Falcons, they will have beaten all three of their top NFC contenders in three of their last four games and look to move into the driver’s seat when it comes to the odds of representing the NFC in the Super Bowl this season.

Rematch with Atlanta Falcons

When asking coaches and players, the Green Bay Packers refuse to call this Atlanta Falcons matchup a “revenge game.” However, while Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers won’t talk about revenge, this game is easily a statement game. With the Packers beating the Seahawks last week, beating the Falcons in this much-anticipated rematch would go a long way to proving that the Packers are the team to beat in the NFC this season.

In the NFC Championship game, the Green Bay Packers lost because their defense couldn’t stop Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons high-powered offense. Ryan threw for 392 yards with four touchdowns and the Packers never sacked him one time in the game. One of the big reasons that the Packers coaches and players won’t call this a revenge game is because they are a different team this year defensively.

Green Bay put a lot of work into improving their defense in the offseason and they hope to prove that their defensive struggles last season is something they have fixed. If the Packers new defensive weapons and their powerful Nitro package can shut down Ryan, the Packers can win this game.

The NFC in 2017

The Dallas Cowboys have a huge question mark surrounding them because the NFL really wants to suspend Ezekiel Elliott, which would hurt the Cowboys offense.

This was a Cowboys team that couldn’t beat the Packers last season with Elliott. Without Zeke, the Packers have to be considered a favorite. Green Bay plays Dallas in their fifth game of the season, so that could be the turning point for home field advantage this season.

Green Bay beat the Seattle Seahawks and completely limited what Russell Wilson was able to do the entire game. If the Green Bay Packers can prove that their defense is now able to handle Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, they can knock off the Atlanta Falcons and there isn’t much left in the NFC to stand between Green Bay and another chance to win the trophy named after their legendary coach.