Packers Soar Past Falcons
(WSCR) – The Atlanta Falcons had an early lead keeping the Green Bay Packers scoreless after the first quarter. The Packers turned it around scoring four touchdowns in the second quarter and held the Falcons back.
Aaron Rodgers capped Green Bay’s fourth touchdown drive of at least 80 yards with a 7-yard scoring run and the Green Bay Packers took a 42-14 lead over the Atlanta Falcons after three quarters in the NFC divisional playoff game on Saturday night.
Rodgers’ third-quarter run, followed by his third touchdown pass of the game, a 7-yarder to John Kuhn, completed a run of 35 unanswered points by the Packers.
Rodgers completed 27 of 31 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns through three quarters.
Atlanta’s Matt Ryan threw two interceptions with no touchdowns through three quarters.
The Packers established momentum with four second-quarter touchdowns, including Rodgers’ passes of 6 yards to Jordy Nelson and 20 yards to James Jones.
Tramon Williams returned his second interception of the game 70 yards for a score to close the first half. The Packers scored two touchdowns in the final minute of the half.
Williams’ first interception in the end zone earlier in the second quarter ended a Falcons drive.
The Falcons beat the Packers 20-17 at the Georgia Dome on Nov. 28, but Rodgers and the Packers returned to Atlanta with more momentum after opening the playoffs with a win at Philadelphia.
The Falcons led 14-7 after Eric Weems’ 102-yard kickoff return early in the second quarter. It was the longest kickoff return for a touchdown in NFL postseason history.
Weems, a Pro Bowl selection for his special teams play, ran straight ahead past kicker Mason Crosby and then beat Pat Lee in the race to the end zone.
The Packers answered with a 92-yard touchdown drive that included Rodgers’ passes of 24 yards to Donald Driver and 34 yards to Jones.
Falcons cornerback Christopher Owens drew two penalties on the drive, one for holding and one for pass interference, to help set up Kuhn’s 1-yard scoring run for a 14-14 tie.
Williams’ first interception came with 2:22 remaining in the half. Ryan’s pass was intended for Michael Jenkins, who slipped in the end zone as Williams made the catch.
The interception set up an 80-yard touchdown drive. Jones, falling backward, caught the touchdown pass over Weems to give the Packers, trying for their second road playoff win in as many weeks, their first lead with 42 seconds remaining in the half.
Michael Turner scored on a 12-yard touchdown run to give Atlanta a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The touchdown drive followed a fumble by Green Bay’s Greg Jennings.
Jennings gained 30 yards on a reception before he fumbled when hit by Atlanta linebacker Stephen Nicholas. Grimes recovered the ball for the Falcons.
Ryan’s 22-yard sideline pass to Jenkins was the long play in the 48-yard scoring drive.
Fullback Ovie Mughelli kept the drive alive by gaining a yard on a fourth-and-1 run from the 13.
Turner got the call on the next play and ran straight ahead, maintaining his balance after spinning inside the 5 and scoring with the help of a push from right tackle Tyson Clabo.
Falcons cornerback Brian Williams was held out with a left knee injury, leaving Owens to fill in as the team’s primary nickel back.
The Packers held out safety Atari Bigby with a groin injury and fullback Korey Hall with a knee injury.
Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez left the game with an apparent right knee injury with 2:03 remaining in the third quarter.
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