Falcons take 37-15 lead into fourth quarter

Teams trading touchdowns in third period


ATLANTA – The Packers' offense got on the board in the third quarter, but the defense couldn't stop the Falcons as Atlanta took a 37-15 lead into the fourth quarter of Sunday's NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome.

The Packers started the second half with another three-and-out, as TE Jared Cook dropped two catchable passes.

On the Falcons' second snap, WR Julio Jones got free over the middle and was off to the races, breaking multiple tackles on his way to a 73-yard TD, extending Atlanta's lead to 31-0 just 69 seconds into the third quarter.

The Packers finally got going on a 10-yard run by RB Ty Montgomery and passes of 13 and 11 yards to Cook. Montgomery left the game with a rib injury. QB Aaron Rodgers found Cook for 26 yards to set up first-and-goal from the 7. A 5-yard pass to WR Jordy Nelson put the ball on the 2, and Rodgers hit WR Davante Adams on the slant for the TD. The Packers were on the board, down 31-7 with 9:19 left in the third.

The Falcons came back with a 23-yard pass to Jones, who leaped up high in traffic to bring it down while getting undercut by two defenders. RB Devonta Freeman followed with runs of 14 and 9 yards, and on third-and-1 from the Green Bay 19, S Morgan Burnett was called for pass interference in the end zone against TE Levine Toilolo.

After a fumbled snap, QB Matt Ryan hit Freeman against Burnett right at the goal line, with the ball spotted just inches shy. The Falcons challenged the spot and were awarded a touchdown. K Matt Bryant's PAT was no good, making it 37-7 with 4:11 left in the quarter.

The Packers started their next drive with a 28-yard scramble by Rodgers. One play later, G T.J. Lang was helped off the field, limping, and was carted to the locker room with a foot injury. After an interception by the Falcons was overturned by replay, WR Davante Adams caught an 8-yard pass and Rodgers converted on fourth-and-2 with a read-option run.

An 18-yard pass to Cook, a 7-yard scramble by Rodgers, and a 4-yard pass to Cobb made it first-and-goal on the 3, and Rodgers found WR Jordy Nelson for the TD. FB Aaron Ripkowski ran in the 2-point conversion, cutting the Falcons' lead to 37-15 with 38 seconds left in the quarter.

Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu recovered Green Bay's attempted onside kick.

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