The Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers will meet in the NFC Championship, with a ticket to Super Bowl 51 on the line. This is the last game to be played in the Georgia Dome, and the Falcons are looking for a signature win to send it off in style. This game promises to be a high-scoring affair, with two of the best offenses in the league slugging it out.
The game is being televised on FOX, and viewers can stream it online via Fox Sports Go, although a cable/satellite subscription is required to log in.
The Falcons are in the conference championship game for just the fourth time in franchise history, and they are looking for their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1998 season. Led by MVP candidate Matt Ryan and superstar receiver Julio Jones, the Falcons have a lethal offensive attack that helps to mask a lot of flaws on defense.
Atlanta had a bit of a slow start against the Seattle Seahawks in the Divisional round but pulled away in the second half and cruised to a 36-20 victory. Ryan threw for three touchdowns and 338 yards on 26-of-37 passing, carving up a Seahawks defense that badly missed Earl Thomas. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman made for a strong running back duo, combining for 102 rushing yards on 25 carries. It was a great performance from an offense that makes it look easy at times.
If there’s one concern heading into this game for the Falcons, it’s the health of Jones. He’s been struggling with a toe injury in recent weeks and reinjured it in the Divisional round. He’s expected to be ready for the conference championship, but his foot is something to monitor. Regardless, Ryan still has a strong supporting cast and will be a rough matchup for a middling Green Bay defense.
The Packers are red hot and haven’t lost a game since late November. They continued their torrid run by taking out the No. 1 seed Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional round. The team jumped out to a 21-3 lead, but the defense almost gave it away, allowing Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to come back and tie things up late in the fourth quarter.
That’s when Aaron Rodgers did what he typically does, which is to put the team on his back and carry it to victory. On the final drive, he unleashed a brilliant throw to Jared Cook, who made an equally brilliant toe-tapping catch on the sidelines. That set up Mason Crosby for a 51-yard field goal, which sealed the 34-31 win and stunned the Jerryworld crowd into silence.
Now the Packers are in the NFC Championship for the third time in Rodgers’s career, and Rodgers is the biggest reason why. He’s playing possibly the best football of his career right now, even with offensive weapons being depleted. Jordy Nelson sat out the Divisional round with broken ribs and isn’t a guarantee to suit up for this game. Still, even with Nelson out, Rodgers got big performances out of Cook, Davante Adams, and Geronimo Allison, while Ty Montgomery is picking up the slack in the running game with Eddie Lacy out.
It will be shocking if this is a low-scoring game. Both teams have weak defenses and franchise QBs playing at a high level, which are the ingredients for a thriller. With the NFC title and a trip to Houston on the line, look for Ryan and Rodgers to throw haymakers all day. Enjoy the fireworks.
How to watch
Time: 3:05 p.m. ET
Place: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers
Online: Fox Sports Go