The Atlanta Falcons beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Divisional Round of the playoffs in the Georgia Dome to advance to the NFC Championship game. Go inside the postgame locker room with a few shots from our photographers.
With the way Aaron Rodgers has been performing of late, head coach Dan Quinn anticipates Sunday's NFC Championship Game will "go down to the end." He has every reason to feel that way: The Packers offense has scored 30 or more points in six straight and overcome several key absences.
The Packers defense, however, has not enjoyed similar success.
Green Bay allowed 24.2 points per game during the regular season, good for 21st in the league. The run D has been strong — just seven teams surrendered fewer rushing yards per game — but only the New Orleans Saints gave up more passing yards in 2016.
Those issues have continued in the playoffs. While Green Bay held Eli Manning to 23-of-44 for 299 yards and one TD in the Wild Card Round, Dak Prescott gashed the Packers for 302 yards and three touchdowns on 38 attempts. A late surge from Dallas — which included a 58-second, 42-yard drive that set up the tying field goal late in the fourth — would have forced overtime if not for Rodgers' heroics.
"We weathered the storm," linebacker Clay Matthews said. "Fortunately, Aaron was Aaron, and made that play, and Mason (Crosby) knocked it through for us."
Prescott and Co. presented one of the most difficult challenges Green Bay's defense could face. But matters won't get any easier Sunday when the Packers take on an offense that's scoring at a historically high clip.
On Oct. 30, the last time Atlanta and Green Bay faced off, the Falcons posted 33 points at the Georgia Dome. That was the fifth of 12 times Atlanta has amassed 30 points so far this season.
Matt Ryan turned in a stellar outing that day, completing 28 of 35 passes for 288 yards and three TDs. Ryan's completion percentage (80) was the seventh-highest of his career.
During this weekend's rematch, Green Bay's coverage woes could be exacerbated by key injuries. No. 1 strong safety Morgan Burnett (quad) left Sunday's game and did not return after colliding with teammate LaDarius Gunter. Kentrell Brice, an undrafted rookie, filled in for the seven-year pro. And Quinten Rollins, one of Green Bay's most important cornerbacks, suffered a concussion during the regular-season finale and has yet to appear in the playoffs.
One bright spot in the Packers' defensive backfield has been Micah Hyde, a versatile playmaker who can line up at corner and safety. His third-quarter interception during the Divisional Round, which occurred at Green Bay's 19-yard line, helped slow down the Cowboys' fierce comeback attempt. That marked Hyde's fourth pick in six games.
Below is a look at how Green Bay's secondary has fared in coverage since the start of the regular season. All statistics are courtesy of Pro Football Focus. !