Given how well Atlanta and Green Bay's offenses have been performing of late, pundits expect Sunday's NFC Championship Game to be a high-scoring affair. Madden 17 agrees: In our latest simulation, the two teams combined for 92 points, 1,142 yards from scrimmage and over eight yards per play.
And thanks to dominating performances from Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, the Falcons ultimately came out on top, winning 48-44 in dramatic fashion.
Devonta Freeman and Levine Toilolo recorded early touchdowns, and after the Packers surged ahead, Matt Ryan launched a 95-yard TD pass to Julio Jones to regain the lead. Then, in the third frame, Jones caught his second TD – this one for 77 yards.
But Aaron Rodgers and Co. were firing on all cylinders, as well. Touchdown receptions by Jeff Janis, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb gave the Packers a seven-point edge with less than 10 minutes remaining in the fourth. Atlanta tied the game with a Taylor Gabriel score, but with 1:52 left in regulation, Mason Crosby nailed a 50-yard FG to give the Packers a three-point lead.
Then Ryan did what he does best.
On a 4th and 19 near midfield, with only 46 seconds left to save Atlanta's season, the veteran QB fired a 46-yard pass to Aldrick Robinson deep in the end zone for the game-winning TD. Tyson Jackson sacked Rodgers on Green Bay's first snap of the ensuing drive, and the Packers were unable to cross into Atlanta territory before the clock struck zero.
Ryan finished with a whopping 602 passing yards – 341 of which went to Jones.
Top Falcons Performers
Matt Ryan: 26/38, 602 yards, 5 TDs, 150.8 QBR
Julio Jones: 9 catches, 341 receiving yards, 2 TDs
Austin Hooper: 4 catches, 66 receiving yards
Deion Jones: 13 tackles, 2 tackles for loss
Plays of the Game
Freeman gets the Falcons on the board.
Ryan finds Jones in stride.
Robinson corrals the winning catch on fourth down.