Most football fans expected an offensive shootout between quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers seemed unstoppable in the last two playoff games. However, expectations took a lopsided twist. By the third quarter of the NFC Championship game, most people knew that the Atlanta Falcons had the NFC Championship game in the bag. Leading 31-0, everything was going wrong for the Green Bay Packers and everything was turning to gold for Atlanta. Another quarter and a half and the Falcons would be crowned the NFC champions, as they awaited their AFC contender. Here is the lowdown of the Packers-Falcons battle.

How Green Bay fell apart

Dropped passes by Jared Cook, a fumble for Aaron Ripkowski inside the red zone, and an interception by Rodgers pushed Green Bay fans’ face into their hands. However, the Packers had one thing that the Falcons lacked: a hungry Aaron Rodgers that could make more Hail Mary’s than God himself.

With 9 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, Green Bay put up their first touchdown when Rodgers hurled a pass to Davante Adams. Despite the Falcons scoring another touchdown to make the score 37-7, Rodgers bounded back with a touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson, capped by a two-point conversion to Ripkowski. The Packers got the score to a 23-point deficit at 44-21. Yet, the onside kick failed.

With a little over two minutes left in the game, the Packer’s coaching staff gave up and put newly drafted Brett Hundley into the game for Rodgers. The Atlanta Falcons are going to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1999.

Matt Ryan picked apart Packers’ defense

While Rodgers and his offense gave a valiant effort to get back into the game, the Packers’ defense dropped the ball, literally and figuratively.

Julio Jones blew past defenders for 4 touchdowns. Green Bay cornerbacks failed to snag interceptions and fumbles that would have turned the game around. Penalties made things worse for Green Bay. At the end of the day, Ryan managed 415 passing yards and 5 touchdowns. No team can win with that many defensive mistakes.

Hats off to Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. They will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers or New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

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