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Packers vs. Falcons 2017 picks and predictions: NFC Championship looks like a toss-up

The NFL’s best offense meets the league’s hottest team.

The NFL’s best offense and the league’s hottest team will meet Sunday in Atlanta with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

The game will kick off on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET and can be seen on Fox and streamed on Foxsportsgo.com

The Packers and Falcons met back in Week 8 with Atlanta squeaking out a 33-32 victory at the Georgia Dome. In that game, Aaron Rodgers passed for 246 yards and four touchdowns, while Matt Ryan racked up 288 yards through the air and three touchdowns of his own.

It was a victory that proved the Falcons were a force to be reckoned with this year, and a defeat for Green Bay that sent the Packers into a tailspin, kicking off a four-game losing streak.

Then Rodgers found his groove again. In returning to his MVP form, Rodgers and Green Bay haven’t lost since Week 11. The Packers clinched the NFC North and knocked out Dallas — the NFL’s second-best team all year — in the Divisional round last week with what has become Green Bay’s signature haymaker: a clutch pass late in the game.

On the other sideline, the league’s best offense is led by likely MVP Matt Ryan. Julio Jones, despite dealing with a toe injury, is expected to play Sunday. The Falcons will be at nearly full strength with Jones anchoring an offense that boasts Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Austin Hooper, and Taylor Gabriel.

They’ve helped the Falcons tally 6,653 yards this season while averaging an NFL-best 33.8 points per game. Yet the only team to score more passing touchdowns than Atlanta’s 38 is Green Bay with 40.

Both of these teams finished the season with defenses ranking in the bottom 10, meaning the NFC Championship could very well come down to who has the ball last.

Atlanta at least has the benefit of a more balanced attack. It scored 20 touchdowns on the ground compared to Green Bay’s 11.

That isn’t scaring off the CBS Sports panel, which is giving Green Bay a slight edge on Sunday. Over at ESPN, the analysts are leaning toward the Falcons at home.

Here at SB Nation, our experts are just as conflicted, though Atlanta is the 5-4 favorite.

NFC Championship picks

Game RVB Stephen White Thomas George Jeanna Thomas Adam Stites Louis Bien Joel Thorman Fooch OddsShark Computer
Game RVB Stephen White Thomas George Jeanna Thomas Adam Stites Louis Bien Joel Thorman Fooch OddsShark Computer
GB vs ATL GB ATL GB ATL GB ATL GB ATL ATL