GREEN BAY (12-6) at ATLANTA (12-5)
Sunday, Jan. 22 l Georgia Dome l 2:05 p.m. CST
The Green Bay Packers will travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in the NFC Championship on Sunday. It is the second time the two teams have met this season, with Atlanta winning the Week 8 matchup, 33-32, at the Georgia Dome.
- It will be the fourth postseason meeting between the Packers and Falcons all-time, with Green Bay holding a 2-1 advantage.
- The last time the two teams met in the postseason was in the 2010 Divisional playoffs, a 48-21 Green Bay victory at Atlanta.
- Including the regular and postseason, Green Bay has won four of the last five games against Atlanta.
- The Packers have scored 30-plus points in back-to-back games in the same postseason for the third time in franchise history (three straight in 1996, two straight in 1966).
- Green Bay’s victory at Dallas in the Divisional round snapped a streak of 12 straight NFL playoff games won by the home team (dating back to last postseason). Prior to last Sunday, the last NFL team to win a road playoff game was the Packers at Washington in the 2015 Wild Card game.
This is an abbreviated version of the Dope Sheet. Read the full version here (PDF)
BACK IN THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP
Sunday will be the seventh time Green Bay has played in the NFC title contest since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
- The Packers are the only NFC team to appear in the NFC Championship two times in the last three years.
- This will be Green Bay’s fourth NFC Championship appearance in the past 10 seasons (2007, 2010 and 2014), the most in the NFC over that span.
- The team’s first appearance in the NFC Championship came in 1995, when it traveled to Dallas. Green Bay held a fourth-quarter lead but the Cowboys used two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns from Emmitt Smith to end Green Bay’s season for the third straight year.
- The Packers reached the NFC title game again the following year, hosting the first title game at Lambeau Field since the ‘Ice Bowl.’ The Packers overcame two early deficits to defeat the Panthers, 30-13, for their first Super Bowl appearance in 29 years. They would go on to beat New England in the Super Bowl.
- In ’97, the Packers reached the title game for the third consecutive season, this time traveling to San Francisco. Green Bay built a comfortable 13-3 lead on a rain-soaked afternoon in an eventual 23-10 win as they bounced the 49ers from the playoffs for the third straight year.
- In ’07, the Packers hosted the Giants in the third-coldest contest in championship game history with a game-time temperature of minus-1 and wind chill of minus-23. Lawrence Tynes sent New York to the Super Bowl with a 47-yard field goal in overtime for the Giants’ 23-20 victory.
- In the ’10 NFC Championship, Green Bay beat longtime division rival Chicago, 21-14. In a game that included five interceptions, Packers DT B.J. Raji helped seal the victory with an 18-yard interception return for a touchdown that put Green Bay up 21-7 with just over six minutes remaining. The Packers went on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers for the club’s fourth Super Bowl and 13th NFL championship.
- The Packers last played in the NFC Championship in 2014 at Seattle. After Green Bay took a 16-0 lead into halftime, the Seahawks outscored the Packers, 22-6, in the second half to force OT, and won on the first possession of extra time, 28-22.
WITH THE CALL
FOX Sports, now in its 23rd season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game to a national audience.
- Play-by-play man Joe Buck joins analyst Troy Aikman and sideline reporters Erin Andrews and Chris Myers.
- Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 50 stations in five states. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) call the action. McCarren first joined the team’s broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 22nd season calling Packers games. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 18th season of broadcasts together.
- Westwood One Sports will air the game on radio across the country. Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and James Lofton (analyst) will call the action, with Tony Boselli reporting from the sidelines and Scott Graham hosting the pregame and halftime shows.
- The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed).
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Falcons:
- All-time, Regular season: 15-13-0
- All-time, Postseason: 2-1
- All-time, in Green Bay: 6-9-0
- Streaks: Atlanta’s win in Week 8 earlier this season was its first since 2010.
- Last meeting, postseason: Jan. 15, 2011; Packers won, 48-21, Georgia Dome
Mike McCarthy: 124-68-1, .645 (incl. 10-7 postseason); 11th NFL season
Dan Quinn: 20-13-0, .606 (incl. 1-0 postseason); 2nd NFL season
Head to Head: Quinn 1-0
vs. Opponent: McCarthy 4-3 vs. Falcons; Quinn 1-0 vs. Packers
MIKE McCARTHY…Is in his 11th year as the Packers’ 14th head coach.
- Joined Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren as the only coaches to guide the Packers to a Super Bowl title with a win over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV.
- Led the Packers to their eighth consecutive playoff appearance this season, joining New England as the only two NFL teams to do so over that span. Has also led the team to nine playoff appearances in the last 10 years (2007, 2009-16).
- Guided the Packers to top-10 finishes in scoring in eight straight seasons (2007-14), joining the Patriots as the only other team to accomplish the feat over that time; Packers finished first overall in scoring in 2014.
- His .651 winning percentage during the regular season (114-61-1) ranks No. 2 among active NFL head coaches (min. 50 games).
- Had 114 regular-season wins in his first 11 seasons as a head coach, tied for No. 3 in NFL history.
DAN QUINN…Is in his second year as the Falcons’ 11th head coach.
- This season, led the Falcons to their seventh division title and sixth first-round bye in franchise history.
- Coached the Atlanta defense to keep five opposing quarterbacks under 200 passing yards and allowed just one 100-yard rusher in 2015.
- Inherited the No. 32 defense from 2014 and improved it to No. 16 in his first season as head coach.
- Coached Atlanta to a 5-0 start in 2015, the best start for a head coach in franchise history.
- Coordinated a Seattle defense that led the league in yards allowed per game, passing yards allowed per game and points allowed per game for two consecutive seasons (2013-14).
THE PACKERS-FALCONS SERIES
- The Packers and Falcons met in the regular season and playoffs of the same season in 2002 and 2010. The loser of the regular-season game had revenge in both playoff matchups.
- In 1992, Atlanta won the first game of the series after trading QB Brett Favre to Green Bay in February.
- Favre and the Packers had revenge with a 37-20 win in the 1995 NFC Wild Card, where the defense held the Falcons to just 21 rushing yards.
- No. 6-seeded Green Bay upset the top-ranked Falcons in the 2010 NFC Divisional playoffs, 48-21, as part of the Packers’ run to become just the second team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl as a No. 6 seed.
Packers LB Clay Matthews father played for Atlanta from 1994-96 and he is the elder cousin of Falcons T Jake Matthews...Green Bay S Morgan Burnett is from College Park, Ga., and attended Georgia Tech for three seasons (2007-09), spending 2007 as a teammate of Falcons LB Philip Wheeler...Falcons secondary/senior defensive assistant coach Marquand Manuel started 16 games for Green Bay in 2006...Packers director-football operations Eliot Wolf held three scouting internships with Atlanta and filed his first scouting report for the Falcons at age 14...Green Bay secondary-cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. was Atlanta’s assistant defensive backs coach in 2007...Falcons practice squad RB Jhurrell Pressley was on Green Bay’s active roster for the first game of the season...Green Bay LB Julius Peppers (No. 2 overall) and Falcons DE Dwight Freeney (No. 11 overall) were the first two DEs taken in the 2002 NFL Draft...Peppers (143.5 sacks) and Freeney (122.5) are in the top 20 among all-time sack leaders...In 2009, Peppers was coached in Carolina by Atlanta defensive coordinator Richard Smith...Smith coached special teams for the Oilers during two seasons (1988-89) that Packers senior personnel executive Alonzo Highsmith played for Houston...Atlanta assistant special teams coach Eric Sutulovich coached on the staff of Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers in Houston from 2002-05...Capers coached in Miami with Falcons head coach Dan Quinn (2006), special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong (2006-07) and defensive assistant/linebackers coach Chad Walker (2006-07)...Atlanta assistant head coach/wide receivers Raheem Morris was colleagues with Green Bay defensive quality control coach Ejiro Evero (2007-09) and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt (2010-11) in Tampa Bay...Evero coached Falcons S Dashon Goldson in San Francisco in 2011...Falcons LB Josh Keyes played in Tampa Bay with Green Bay P Jacob Schum in 2015...Green Bay LB Jordan Tripp spent the 2015 season in Jacksonville with Atlanta LB LaRoy Reynolds...Packers tight ends coach Brian Angelichio spent two seasons (2012-13) coaching with Atlanta defensive line coach Bryan Cox with the Buccaneers and coached the 2014 season in Cleveland with Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, offensive assistant Mike LaFleur and offensive assistant Mike McDaniel...Jake Matthews and Green Bay RB Christine Michael played together at Texas A&M from 2010-12...Packers TE Jared Cook and Falcons FB Patrick DiMarco were South Carolina teammates from 2007-08...Green Bay LB Blake Martinez and T Kyle Murphy played at Stanford with Falcons TEs Austin Hooper (2014-15) and Levine Toilolo (2012)...Hooper (2014) and Toilolo (2011-12) were Cardinal teammates with Green Bay WR Ty Montgomery...Packers associate head coach/offense Tom Clements and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac coached at Notre Dame in 1993 with Armstrong...Walker and Packers defensive front assistant Jerry Montgomery coached together at Oklahoma for two seasons (2013-14)...Atlanta linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich coached Green Bay DT Kenny Clark (2013-14) and DE/LB Datone Jones (2012) at UCLA...Packers T Bryan Bulaga played with Atlanta DE Adrian Clayborn from 2007-09 at Iowa...Falcons WR Justin Hardy played at East Carolina from 2012-14 with Green Bay CB Josh Hawkins...Green Bay T Jason Spriggs and Atlanta RB Tevin Coleman were Indiana teammates from 2012-14...Packers special teams coordinator Ron Zook coached at Ohio State from 1989-90 with Atlanta running backs coach Bobby Turner...Packers S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix played with Falcons OLB Courtney Upshaw in 2011 at Alabama...Green Bay LB Kyler Fackrell played at Utah State with Atlanta LB D.J. Tialavea from 2012-13.
This is an abbreviated version of the Dope Sheet. Read the full version here (PDF)
LAST MEETING, POSTSEASON
Jan. 15, 2011, Georgia Dome, Packers won, 48-21
- QB Aaron Rodgers completed 31 of 36 passes (86.1 percent) for 366 yards and three TDs (136.8 passer rating).
- CB Tramon Williams had two INTs, including one that was returned 70 yards for a TD to end the first half.
- WR Greg Jennings led all players with eight catches for 101 yards (12.6 avg.) while LB Clay Matthews contributed with two sacks of Falcons QB Matt Ryan.