By AMANDA NEPPL / Staff Writer
Atlanta Falcons vs Green Bay Packers
Last Sunday in the Georgia Dome, the Atlanta Falcons swooped past the Green Bay Packers. With a final score of 21-44, the Falcons kick-started their momentum to obtain a Super Bowl spot in the first half, and in the second half, solidified their victory.
In a Bleacher Report article from Tyler Conway, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan “spread the ball to eight receivers.” One of the most remarkable plays occurred in the beginning of the 3rd quarter, where wide receiver Julio Jones caught an outstanding 73-yard pass from Ryan, and ran for the end zone. By the end of the game, with 9 receptions, Jones raked in 180 receiving yards, which Conway reports as a “game-high.”
Green Bay took a W against the Super Bowl-hopeful-Dallas Cowboys – y’all thought – and after an 8-game winning streak, did not realize the amount of energy it would take to play Atlanta. The Packers totaled 13 points in the 3rd quarter and made a touchdown in the final quarter. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers totaled 287 passing yards. Jordy Nelson, Jared Cook, and Randall Cobb “were Rodger’s three favorite targets” writes Conway. At the end of the first half, Rodgers pass was intended for Nelson, but was intercepted by Atlanta’s safety Ricardo Allen.
New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers
The New England Patriots dominated 36-17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Gillette Stadium on Sunday evening. Quarterback Tom Brady ruthlessly drove the Patriots to a win, and what will be their ninth Super Bowl appearance.
Chris Hogan excellently received a flea-flicker pass from Brady, which was panned out and replayed multiple times so watchers could see the eye-opening play. “This Steelers secondary is as advertised… leaving HUGE spaces and blowing coverages all over,” tweeted Mike Petraglia of WEEI, a sports radio broadcast out of Boston, Massachusetts. Where is Pittsburgh’s defense? This leaves the field completely open for anything that Brady throws deep into the Steelers’ territory.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger responded to the Patriot’s strong passing game, but not until the end of the 4th quarter. With under three minutes in the game, wide receiver Cobi Hamilton caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger, securing a double-digit score for the Steelers. In a Bleacher Report article, Scott Polacek writes that Roethlisberger “posted respectable numbers with 314 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception, but his team was playing from behind for the majority of the game.” Explains why they only made one touchdown.
The Atlanta Falcons will face the New England Patriots on Sunday, February 5th at 6:30pm at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.