ATLANTA – The Packers continued to hurt themselves and the Falcons continued to dominate, taking a 24-0 lead into halftime of Sunday’s NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome.
The Packers started the second quarter with passes of 17 and 22 yards to WR Randall Cobb. On third-and-4, QB Aaron Rodgers found TE Jared Cook for 5 yards to the Atlanta 23. FB Aaron Ripkowski then busted free on a run up the middle, but Falcons CB Jalen Collins stripped the ball at the 11-yard line and recovered it in the end zone for a touchback.
The Falcons got going again with passes of 17 and 20 yards to WR Julio Jones. A 6-yard pass to WR Mohamed Sanu moved the chains again to the Green Bay 33. QB Matt Ryan then hit Jones over the middle for 19 yards on third-and-10, and Ryan scrambled 14 yards for the TD. The Falcons led 17-0 with 7:24 left in the first half.
The Packers went three-and-out, as a blitzer from Rodgers’ left side wasn’t picked up on third-and-3, and his hot throw to Cobb gained nothing.
Atlanta started its next drive with a 17-yard pass to RB Tevin Coleman. The Falcons botched a shotgun snap, and LB Jake Ryan nearly recovered, but Coleman got it away from him and WR Taylor Gabriel fell on it for Atlanta. The Packers got the stop, though, and forced a punt for the first time in the game. It was announced Packers DB Micah Hyde has a shoulder injury, return questionable.
Starting from their own 10, the Packers got a first down on short passes to WR Jordy Nelson and Cobb, but Nelson then dropped one over the middle, and Rodgers was sacked by his shoestrings as he failed to step far enough away from the diving arm of Falcons DT Ra’Shede Hageman. That put the Packers in third-and-21 at the 2-minute warning, with LG Lane Taylor leaving with a knee injury and being replaced by Don Barclay.
Rodgers tried to go deep to Nelson on third-and-long, and Falcons S Ricardo Allen picked it off about 50 yards downfield. Atlanta took over on its own 32 with 1:50 left in the half.
Consecutive passes of 8 and 11 yards to RB Devonta Freeman got the Falcons just across midfield. Ryan tried to go deep to WR Aldrick Robinson, and Packers S Marwin Evans had a chance at an interception but missed it. Ryan then found Gabriel for 16 yards on third-and-10, and Freeman picked up 19 more on a dump-off pass to the 14. The Falcons called timeout with 25 seconds left.
Ryan scrambled up the middle for 9 yards to the 5, and the Falcons called their last timeout with 11 ticks left. After CB LaDarius Gunter nearly picked off a pass in the back of the end zone intended for WR Mohamed Sanu, Gunter was beaten to the corner by Jones for the TD with 3 seconds to go.