ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons have been through this before. A promising start to the season, only to get sidetracked by a deflating loss.
A year ago, it led to a total meltdown.
A victory Sunday over the Green Bay Packers would go a long way toward showing this team is different.
The Falcons (4-3) are coming off their second straight loss, a 33-30 setback to lowly San Diego that had the feel of a game Atlanta totally gave away.
The Falcons squandered a 17-point lead at home, the Chargers' comeback aided by Matt Ryan's crucial interception late in regulation.
Then, in overtime, Atlanta coach Dan Quinn made the ill-fated decision to go for it on fourth-and-short in his own end of the field. The Chargers held, setting up the game-winning field goal.
A similar defeat in 2015 sparked a six-game losing streak that turned a 6-1 start into an 8-8 finish.
"We started off so good," safety Ricardo Allen recalled. "Then we didn't do so good for a stretch. Me personally, I even felt a little panicky, man. Sometimes you're like, 'I just want to get back to the way it way it was.' You try to push, you try to press, you try to do things that you shouldn't be doing. That's something you can't do. You've just got to do your job."
Green Bay (4-2) is beginning a stretch of four road games in five weeks, facing an Atlanta offense that leads the league in scoring (32.7 points per game) and total yards (433.6). While Ryan has done a good job spreading the ball around, there's no doubt about his favorite receiver.
Julio Jones leads the Falcons with 40 receptions for 830 yards, more than twice as many catches as anyone else on the team.
The Packers know they've got their work cut out.
"I've never seen anyone like him, period," cornerback Demetri Goodson said. "He's big, he's fast, he runs great routes, he's strong. Just the total package."
Here's some other things to watch for when the Packers visit the Falcons: