On Sunday, the Falcons will take on the Packers at the Georgia Dome for the right to play in Super Bowl LI. Here's what you need to know about Green Bay heading into the NFC Championship Game.
Regular Season StatsPassing Yards Per Game: 262.4, ranked seventh
Rushing Yards Per Game: 106.3, ranked 20th
Points Per Game: 27, ranked fourth
- The Packers offense begins and ends with Aaron Rodgers. The Pro Bowl QB elevated his play in the second half of the 2016 campaign, propelling him into the MVP conversation. He's been stellar in the playoffs, as well: In two postseason games, Rodgers has thrown for 718 yards, six touchdowns and one interception.
- Jordy Nelson was Rodgers' No. 1 target during the regular season, but the veteran wideout exited Green Bay's first playoff game with multiple fractured ribs. He had to sit out the Divisional Round; his status for this weekend is uncertain. On Sunday, Nelson told NFL Network "it's a pain no one wants to feel" and his biggest goal is to get back to normal breathing.
- Without Nelson, Rodgers distributed the ball to six receivers vs. Dallas – all of whom tallied at least 34 receiving yards. Tight end Jared Cook led the way with 104 yards and a TD on 6 receptions; Davante Adams reeled in five passes for 76 yards, and Randall Cobb caught seven balls for 62 yards.
- After Green Bay placed Eddie Lacy on injured reserve, wide receiver-turned-running back Ty Montgomery became the Packers' top rushing option and He has a pair of TDs in the postseason thus far, and while he's averaging just 3.4 yards per carry in the playoffs, he rushed for 457 yards on 77 attempts during the regular season – a 5.9 average. Former Seahawk Christine Michael is a threat on the ground, too, as is fullback Aaron Ripkowski, who rumbled for a touchdown in the Wild Card Round.
- Green Bay's offensive line has been led by RG T.J. Lang, who earned his first Pro Bowl invitation this year. During the regular season, he allowed zero sacks and zero QB hits during 533 pass block snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. LT David Bakhtiari, C Corey Lindsey and RT Bryan Bulaga also earned positive PFF grades.
Regular Season StatsPassing Yards Per Game: 269.2, ranked 31st
Rushing Yards Per Game: 94.7, ranked eighth
Points Per Game: 24.2, ranked 21st
- The Packers defensive front helped them earn 40 sacks, the sixth-most in the NFL. LB Nick Perry, another Pro Bowl nominee, led the way with 11 sacks; DE Julius Peppers chipped in 7.5, and Clay Matthews tallied five.
- Green Bay surrendered 94.7 rushing yards per game during the regular season, the eighth-fewest in the league. Perry has rightfully garnered a reputation for his stout run defense, and NT Letroy Guion, listed at 6-foot-4, 322 pounds, has been clogging lanes all year long. SS Morgan Burnett is also vital to the run D; however, the Georgia Tech alum injured his quad vs. the Cowboys and didn't return. Undrafted rookie Kentrell Brice took Burnett's place in the secondary.
- Burnett is joined by Pro Bowl FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. In addition to his work in coverage, Dix is a good rush defender, as evident by his 33 tackles and zero missed tackles against the run. Per PFF, quarterbacks targeted him just 28 times during the regular season and completed 19 of those attempts for 203 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions. In the playoffs, QBs have connected on one of two passes for 13 yards when throwing in his direction.
- At cornerback, Ladarius Gunter, Damarious Randall and Micah Hyde, who came down with a crucial interception, handled the bulk of the snaps in Dallas. Gunter struggled in the Divisional Round, allowing six completions for 85 yards and a score. Randall had a tough day, too, giving up six catches for 59 yards and a TD. Quinten Rollins normally takes a lot of snaps at corner, but due to a concussion suffered during the regular-season finale, he has yet to appear in the postseason.
- PK Mason Crosby stole the show on Sunday, making two 50-plus-yard field goals in the last two minutes of regulation. The first kick was a 56-yarder, the third-longest in NFL playoff history. The second, which sailed through the uprights as time expired, was from 51 yards out and sent the Packers to the next round. He has made a league-record 23 straight postseason field goals and is 26-of-28 in his playoff career.
- Jacob Schum handles the punting duties for Green Bay. He averaged 43.2 yards per punt during the regular season – with a long of 65 – and, in the postseason, he's averaging 42.7 yards per attempt, three of which were downed inside the 20.
- Montgomery took a lot of kick returns in 2016, but Jeff Janis (three returns for 77 yards) and Michael (three returns for 49 yards) have filled that role in the playoffs. Hyde has taken all five punt returns in the postseason, gaining 50 combined yards with a long of 23.