January 2017


The NFC championship is quite a mismatch. The Atlanta Falcons are playing as well as they have all season. For much of their existence, the Falcons were burdened with cartoonish ownership, laughable draft picks and horrific personnel moves such as trading away a strong-armed young quarterback in the early 1990s.
The Georgia Dome's final game could fittingly be an explosive one with the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers poised to blow the roof off the place when the NFL's most potent offenses clash on Sunday for a berth in the Super Bowl. With Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers leading supercharged offences against leaky defenses, Las Vegas bookmakers have set a record high "over-under" -- or the total combined points scored -- for a playoff contest at 60 points. When both teams met in the regular season Atlanta won 33-32 after Ryan tossed a last-minute touchdown and many expect more fireworks in Sunday's NFC Championship.
By Steve Keating Jan 21 (Reuters) - The Georgia Dome's final game could fittingly be an explosive one with the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers poised to blow the roof off the place when the NFL's most potent offenses clash on Sunday for a berth in the Super Bowl. With Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers leading supercharged offences against leaky defences, Las Vegas bookmakers have set a record high "over-under" -- or the total combined points scored -- for a playoff contest at 60 points. When both teams met in the regular season Atlanta won 33-32 after Ryan tossed a last-minute touchdown and many expect more fireworks in Sunday's NFC Championship.
Roger Federer showed against 10th-seeded Tomas Berdych that his first two wins against qualifiers at the Australian Open really were warmups. The 17-time Grand Slam champion, seeded 17th after spending six months on the sidelines last season, only needed 90 minutes to beat Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 in the third round. This was against a rival who played the Wimbledon final in 2010 and reached the quarterfinals or better in Australia the previous six years.
We looked at some of the strategic elements to watch for in the AFC championship game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. Now let’s break down some things to watch in the NFC championship game:
The NFC championship is quite a mismatch. The Atlanta Falcons are playing as well as they have all season. For much of their existence, the Falcons were burdened with cartoonish ownership, laughable draft picks and horrific personnel moves such as trading away a strong-armed young quarterback in the early 1990s.
The Oakland Raiders filed relocation paperwork to move to Las Vegas on Thursday, setting in motion the process to become the third NFL team since January 2016 to change markets. The proposal comes one week after the Chargers announced their decision to relocate from San Diego to Los Angeles, one year removed from the Rams moving to L.A. from St. Louis. - - Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck underwent surgery on his right shoulder to repair a two-year old injury.
The Green Bay Packers' blueprint to slow down Atlanta in the NFC championship game focuses on turning the high-octane Falcons into a one-dimensional offense. It's tough enough to contain All-Pros Matt Ryan and Julio Jones with a healthy defense. Linebacker Clay Matthews is eager to take on the next test when the Packers visit the Georgia Dome on Sunday.
The Minnesota Vikings could look a lot different next season if they decide to move on from Adrian Peterson. Peterson has an unwieldy salary-cap number and could be a victim of cost coming off an injury-decimated season and set to turn 32 in March. A lot has to take place,” Peterson said on Thursday.
We’re down to four teams left in the playoffs, and it’s time to look at the possible matchups and strategic points to watch in each of the conference championship games.

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