I can’t wait for the Packers-Falcons game today. Both teams slept through the night. Nobody had to deal with fire alarms. This game will be settled on the gridiron with the two most exciting quarterbacks in the game today.
This just in from the NFL –
PROLIFIC PASSERS: Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN led the NFL with a 117.1 passer rating in 2016, the fifth-highest single-season rating in NFL history. New England’s TOM BRADY (112.2) and Green Bay’s AARON RODGERS (104.2) ranked second and fourth respectively.
Aaron Rodgers is locked in. He’s on a mission and he seems to be able to do almost anything he wants on the field. Tom Brady and Joe Montana had similar runs more than one time in their careers but this is more like Roger Staubach. Rodgers can throw on the run as well as any quarterback who’s ever played the game. Ken Stabler had that ability but Rodgers has taken it to another level. Throwing on the run gives his receivers time down field to get open and that’s a big edge for the Packers heading into today’s game.
Matt Ryan has always been great. But the Falcons haven’t always supported him on the field. We can pick apart his playoff record (2-4) but it’s a team sport. His 12 touchdowns and 7 INTS don’t tell the story. The quarterback you will see today is throwing the football at mind-numbing completion rates.
Week 15 – 73.91%
Week 16 – 81.82%
Week 17 – 75.00%
Week 18 – 70.27%
He hasn’t thrown a pick since week 13! The AFC is likely to garner a lot more attention but this could be the most entertaining game to watch. This is the one I’m most interested in but will certainly be watching both of them.
Does the winner of this game win the Super Bowl? I’m not ready to say that just yet but it’s entirely possible.
The politicians have placed their ridiculous bets and now we wait.
More notes on the game:
PACKERS: Have won 13 NFL championships, most all-time. Team’s .618 postseason winning pct. (34-21) is best in NFL history among teams with 50+ games played. This is team’s 32nd playoff appearance, tied for most in NFL history. MIKE MC CARTHY has led team to playoffs in 9 of his 11 seasons as head coach & is 10-7 in the postseason…Packers had 3 players selected to 2017 Pro Bowl: S HA HA CLINTON-DIX (1st), G T.J. LANG (1st) & QB AARON RODGERS (6th)…In past 8 (incl. playoffs), QB Rodgers is 8-0 with 2,384 pass yards (298 per game), 21 TDs & 1 INT for 117.9 rating. Has 100.1 postseason passer rating, 4th best in NFL history. In 6 career meetings, has 1,992 pass yards (332 per game), 16 TDs & 1 INT for 122.2 rating…RB TY MONTGOMERY had 2 rush TDs last week. Has 4 TDs in past 3 on road…WR JORDY NELSON led NFL with 14 rec. TDs & ranked 6th with 1,257 rec. yards. Since 2011 (incl. postseason), ties for 3rd in league with 58 TD catches. Had 94 rec. yards & TD in Week 8. WR RANDALL COBB has 5 TD catches in past 5 postseason games. WR DAVANTE ADAMS has 3 TD catches in 5 career playoff games. Had 12 receptions in Week 8. TE JARED COOK had 6 receptions for 104 yards & TD last week, 1st career postseason TD…LB CLAY MATTHEWS has 11 career postseason sacks, tied for 5th most since 1982. Had 2 sacks in only career playoff meeting. LB JULIUS PEPPERS has 143.5 career sacks, 5th most since 1982. In past 6 postseason games, has 4.5 sacks, 2 FFs & 2 PD. Is only player in NFL history with 100+ sacks & 10+ INTs (11). Has 2 sacks in past 3 meetings. LB NICK PERRY led team with career-high 11 sacks. DT MIKE DANIELS had sack in last meeting. CB DAMARIOUS RANDALL has 2 INTs in past 3 playoff games. S Clinton-Dix led team with 5 INTs…K MASON CROSBY made 2 50+ yard FGs in final 2 minutes of regulation last week, incl. GW 51-yarder as time expired. Is 1st player in postseason history with 2 50+-yard FGs in final 2 minutes of regulation. His 51-yard FG was longest GW FG in NFL postseason history.
FALCONS: Won NFC South & advanced to postseason for 1st time since 2012. Are 5-3 at home in playoffs in franchise history. Ranked 1st in NFL in total points (540) & 2nd in total offense (415.8 yards per game). Head coach DAN QUINN won 1st career playoff game last week…Falcons had 6 players selected to 2017 Pro Bowl: LB VIC BEASLEY JR. (1st), K MATT BRYANT (1st), RB DEVONTA FREEMAN (2nd), WR JULIO JONES (4th), C ALEX MACK (4th) & QB MATT RYAN (4th)…QB Ryan set franchise record and ranked 2nd in NFL with 4,944 passing yards. Has 6 consecutive 4,000+ yard seasons, tied for 2nd longest streak in NFL history. Led league with 117.1 rating, 5th highest single-season rating in NFL history. In past 3 postseason games, has 984 pass yards (328 per game) with 9 TDs & 3 INTs for 111.9 rating. In past 2 meetings, has 663 pass yards (331.5 per game) with 7 TDs vs. 1 INT for 123.9 rating…RB Freeman had 1,079 rush yards, 2nd consecutive 1,000-yard season. In past 6 at home (incl. postseason), has 10 rush TDs. Had rush TD last week in postseason debut…WR Jones ranked 2nd in NFL with 1,409 rec. yards, 4th season with 1,000+ rec. yards. Has 30 receptions for 372 yards (93 per game) & 3 TDs in 4 career playoff games. Had 11 receptions for 259 yards & TD in 12/8/14 meeting. WR MOHAMED SANU had TD catch last week, 1st career postseason TD. Had 9 receptions for 84 yards & TD in Week 8. WR TAYLOR GABRIEL has 5 rec. TDs in past 7. Had TD in last meeting…DE DWIGHT FREENEY has 10 career postseason sacks, 4th most among active players. LB Beasley led NFL with 15.5 sacks. Has 6 sacks & 2 FFs in past 7 at home. LB DEION JONES (106) & S KEANU NEAL (105) led NFL rookies in tackles. Neal tied for 3rd in league with 5 FFs. CB ROBERT ALFORD tied for 5th in NFL with 19 PD. CB RICARDO ALLEN had INT last week in postseason debut.
photo by Mike del Tufo