Tag Archives: NFC Championship

NFC Championship 2017: Falcons crunchy roll the Packers with some Triple X

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.

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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!!!

Get game summary, stats, and play by play here.

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.

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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.

NFC Championship 2012: 49ers runneth over the Falcons cup

The Atlanta Falcons.  The San Francisco 49ers.  The NFC Championship game.  Broadcast on Fox and narrated by Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the Falcons were on offense first.  Just four minutes into the quarter, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones connected for a forty-six yard touchdown pass (Julio and fellow wide receiver Roddy White body-high-fived.  Julio and Matt did as well).  They picked up three more points eight minutes later with a field goal.  The Falcons said hello to another TD in the top the second quarter, courtesy of Julio Jones.  Atlanta 17 and San Francisco 0.

The 49ers finally got their game going with a TD by running back LaMichael James in the middle of the second quarter.  Atlanta 17 and San Francisco 7.  Their momentum continued to build to another TD made by tight end Vernon Davis.  Atlanta 17 and San Francisco 14.  But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?   It is Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez making a TD, bringing his team’s score 24 over the San Francisco’s 14.

The 49ers closed the score gap with a TD by running back Frank Gore in the top of the third quarter.  Atlanta 24 and San Francisco 21.   Matt Ryan threw an interception in the middle of the quarter.  He wanted the ball to go to Roddy White.  Fortunately for the Falcons, the 49ers field goal attempt was no good.  But then, with under two minutes in the the quarter, Matt Ryan was felled and the 49ers got control of the ball.  What would’ve most likely been another TD for the 49ers in the top of the fourth quarter became a fumbled ball which the Falcons recovered…within spitting distance of the end zone.    The Falcons weren’t able to score on that recovery, though.  The 49ers went to the end zone upon their next possession (another Frank Gore TD).

Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas made three crucial catches for his teammates in the bottom of the quarter.  Alas.  San Francisco 28 and Atlanta 24.  Final score.

The Falcons will not be going to the Super Bowl.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  The Zac Brown Band performed the National Anthem.

2.  Joe Buck’s button-down shirt and tie were of lavender scheme.  Troy Aikman had a blue theme going.

3.  When there were over sixty seconds left in the first quarter and Matt Ryan was communicating information to his team at the line of scrimmage, he shouted what sounded like “Chevy olive” or “Chevy Impala.”

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

NFC Championship 2010: the Saints crawfish bead the Vikings

Well, the Indianapolis Colts out-shined the New York Jets in the AFC Championship game.  Which NFC team would be butting heads with the Colts at Super Bowl XLIV?  Would the Minnesota Vikings bring in the cold and mead or would the New Orleans Saints ferry over some rhythm and blues?  Televised by Fox, with commentary by Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the Vikings went on offense first.  Running back Adrian Peterson made a touchdown at the end of this possession.  Saints running back Pierre Thomas tied the game with a TD run when his team got the ball.   Minnesota 7 and New Orleans 0.  Brett Favre connected with wide receiver Sidney Rice towards the bottom of the quarter, giving the Vikings seven more points.  Minnesota 14 and New Orleans 7.

The second quarter started with the Saints tying the game once again with a TD connection between Drew Brees and wide receiver Devery Henderson.  Minnesota 14 and New Orleans 14.  The second quarter drew to a close with the Vikings recovering a muffed punt to the ten-yard line and then Adrian Peterson losing control of the ball.

The Saints charged into the third quarter with a Pierre Thomas TD.  New Orleans 21 and Minnesota 14 (televised slow-motion replays revealed that Thomas’s left knee hit the ground before the ball crossed the goal line).  Adrian Peterson lost control of the ball on the Vikings next possession, but his teammate fullback Naufahu Tahi jumped on the ball.  With the legs and grip of tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who moved the ball down the field, Adrian Peterson was able to put another TD on board.  New Orleans 21 and Minnesota 21.  Peterson recovered his own fumbled ball nearing the bottom of the third quarter.  Three times a lady fumble!  Minutes later, Brett Favre was intercepted by Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.   Favre was brought down to the ground hard and had to hop off the field with a teammate on either side of him.

The top of the fourth quarter indicated ostensibly that the Vikings were getting sloppy Joey with their game-play.  There was another loose ball.  Saints defensive tackle Remi Ayodele got a hold of the ball after it rolled away from players on both teams.  Saints running back Reggie Bush managed to break the bottom right corner of the end zone for a TD.  New Orleans 28 and Minnesota 21.  Just when it seemed like Minnesota was closing the offensive gap, the ball gets away from them and Vilma nabbed it.  Luckily for the Vikings, the Saints didn’t score.  When Minnesota returned to offense, Adrian Peterson ended up breaking the plane.  New Orleans 28 and Minnesota 28.  The Vikings were playing the fourth-down-and-goal yo-yo and instead of getting his kicker to a decent yard-line, he threw an interception.  Cornerback Tracy Porter cradled that prolate spheroid like it was a free puppy.

Can we spell O-V-E-R-T-I-M-E?  The Saints won the coin toss.  Kicker Garrett Hartley’s forty-yard field goal attempt was good.  New Orleans 31 and Minnesota 28.  The New Orleans Saints are the NFC Champions and will send some rhythm and blues to Super Bowl XLIV.

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Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Joe Buck wore a light gray suit, a light blue button-down shirt, and a caramel-bronze tie.  Troy Aikman wore a dark navy suit, a white button-down shirt, and a metallic gray tie.  The juxtaposition was a bit odd.

2.  Kris Allen sang the National Anthem.  I would say that Jordin Sparks did a much better job singing in the AFC Championship game.  She sang like she meant it; he belted like he didn’t want to mess up.

3.  The Vikings wore white jerseys and the Saints wore black.

4.  The Saints have a life-sized pound-puppy of a mascot.

5.  Sidney Rice did a little shoulder shake in the end zone after he made the TD catch in the first quarter.

6.  If you watched this game or have been following the Vikings in the news, then you know that Brett Favre and many of the offensive players wore ear plugs.

7.  Drew Brees launched the ball into the back right corner of the end zone in the second quarter; Devery Henderson flew to it like a bird of prey snatching up a field mouse.

8.  Vikings safety Madieu Williams’s first name is perverted French for “my god.”  “Dieu” is masculine, so “my god” should be “mon dieu.”

9.  George Bush Sr. and his wife Barbara were in attendance.  I believe the former President was wearing a dark navy suit, a white button-down shirt and a red shirt.

10. Who’s going to have the most sleepless night: Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre, Brad Childress, or Zygi Wilf?

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

NFL Films: J’aime beaucoup le Skycam

I recently got my hands on two wonderful boxsets from NFL Films:

Click here for another view

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5 of the Minnesota Vikings’ greatest games

and 10 of the Philadelphia Eagles’ greatest games.

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Each disc contained in these boxsets is an entire broadcast game, spanning at least two decades.  I watched about an hour’s worth of the Eagles’ games.  Specifically:

NFC Championship Eagles vs. Cowboys January 11, 1981 (18 days before my last non-breath in utero).

Eagles vs. Redskins November 12, 1990 (a  Monday Night Football game and originally televised on ABC).

NFC Championship Eagles vs. Falcons January 23, 2005 (6 days before my twenty-fourth birthday).

I shall return with more in-depth thoughts after I’ve watched some of the Vikings games as well, but I’d like to mention now that the NFC Championship of the 2004-2005 season occurred one year before I started watching televised football.  In just comparing and contrasting the aesthetics (screen graphics) from the early 80s to the early 90s and to the 21st century, what a difference the Skycam makes.   Score graphics from yesteryear (before and after the Cold War ended) certainly betray the datedness of the broadcasts, but the introduction of the Skycam added a dynamic visual dimension that I had taken for granted in the few years since I first started watching football on the television (playoffs of 2006).

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Click here, here, and here for more pictures of me holding the boxsets.