The NFC Championship game leading up to Super Bowl LI featured the Green Bay Packers at the Atlanta Falcons. Broadcast by Fox and narrated by Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the last game played at the Georgia Dome started with the Falcons on offense. Halfway through the second quarter, they were on top in scoring with 17 points (courtesy of wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, a field goal, and quarterback Matt Ryan running the ball into the end zone). The Packers made an unsuccessful field goal attempt in the first quarter, then in the second quarter, Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski lost possession of the ball and Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins recovered it.
The bottom of the second quarter saw Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throw an interception into the arms of Falcons safety Ricardo Allen. With seconds left in the first half of the game, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones made a TD touch, giving Atlanta a 24 to 0 lead.
The third quarter came to a thrilling start as Julio Jones ran 73 yards into the end zone for a TD. He had to get Packers cornerback LeDarius Gunter’s hands off of him first (Gunter received a defensive holding penalty). Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Davante Adams finally got some numbers on the board about halfway into the third quarter with a touchdown. Falcons 31 and Packers 7. Towards the bottom of the quarter, Falcons running back Devonta Freeman caught the ball right smack on the goal line, and the on-field call was fourth and goal. The Falcons challenged it and won…and then didn’t get the extra point. Falcons 37 and Packers 7.
The Packers’ offense increased their momentum in the last couple of minutes of the third quarter and got a TD via wide receiver Jordy Nelson. They went for and got a two-point conversion (Aaron Ripkowski barreled his way into the end zone). Falcons 37 and Packers 15. The Falcons increased their lead with another TD at top of the fourth quarter (thanks to running back Tevin Coleman, whose momentum carried him partly into the tunnel, where he high-fived a guy in a Falcons shirt working the game). The Packers closed the score gap with another TD soon enough but their two-point conversion failed. Falcons 44 and Packers 21. Final score. FALCONS ARE NFC CHAMPIONS!!!
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Observations & Miscellany:
~ Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosaline were in attendance today.
~ Joe Buck and Troy Aikman both wore blue ties; Joe’s was a very sharp, bright blue like this one.
~ There was so much red in the stadium today.
~ Packers backup QB Brett Hundley went into the game for the last couple of minutes of the game.
I watched xXx: Return of Xander Cage (D.J. Caruso, 2017) on Friday because Donnie Yen and Kris Wu are in it. Yes, that Kris Wu who used to be in the Korean boy group, EXO. He plays a DJ in the film and is there to make things more fun. One of his songs also plays in the scene when Vin Diesel and his posse first meet Donnie Yen.
The film overall is terrible — the editing, the dialogue, and some of the camerawork, particularly in non-action sequences, were uninspired. Yet, it’s so much fun to watch Nina Dobrev was a scene stealer for me; Ruby Rose‘s character was badass (who wouldn’t want to hang out in the African wilderness and inflict injury upon trophy hunters?); Deepika Padukone demonstrated much onscreen charisma (I hope to see her in more American films of all genres and budgets); and Ice Cube‘s cameo was awesome and cheesy at the same time.
Former NFL tightend Tony Gonzalez was in the previews for Triple X, which was the initial reason I wanted to see the film. Gonzalez spent five of his seventeen years in the NFL as an Atlanta Falcon and was an incredible athlete. He also had more screen time than I expected.