NFL Playoffs: The Green Bay Packers defeat the Dallas Cowboys to advance to the NFC championship game
The Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys 34-31 to advance to the NFC championship game. Aaron Rodgers helped the Packers hold on at the end, after a furious Dallas comeback. This game was a tale of two halves, as the Packers offense jumped to an early lead in the first and second quarter.
Rodgers was orchestrating the offense, making huge plays on third downs, he ended up with 356 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. However, the Cowboys began to fight back with a second half surge that gave them a chance to win the game.
Dak Prescott threw for 302 yards for three touchdowns and one interception, Ezekiel Elliot rushed for 125 yards and Dez Bryant had 132 receiving yards and two touchdown.The score was 21-13 after halftime, the Dallas defense came out with some adjustment in their game plan. The defense began rushing the quarter back more often and stopped playing zone schemes.
Subsequently, the Cowboys offense started to gain momentum and Prescott was able to march down the field twice to set up scores and tie up the game. The last two and half minutes of the game is where it got very interesting. The Packers were held to the 56 yard line with 1:38 left on the clock on fourth down, their star kicker Mason Crosby came through in the clutch and made the 56 yard kick to put them up by three.
Lacking no confidence at all, the rookie quarterback threw two huge passes to get the Cowboys in field goal position to tie the game. Dan Bailey made the field goal kick to tie the game at 31, leaving 35 seconds on the clock. Which could be considered a lifetime in football terms.
Aaron Rodgers is known to be clutch in these situations, which meant Dallas had to make on more stop to advance the NFC championship game. The game was on the line and with 12 seconds on the clock, Rodgers snapped the ball, spun to his left, ran forward and launched an amazing pass to tight end Jared Cook, who was able to tip toe towards the sideline and make the catch. The conversion set up field goal range for Crosby at 51 yards and he made it count kicking the game winner to defeat the Cowboys 34-31.
It will be Rodgers’ third NFC title game on the road for Green Bay (12-6) and he got there in his first game at the home of the Cowboys since he won his only title as the Super Bowl MVP six years ago.
The Packers will face the red hot Atlanta Falcons on the road for the NFC championship next Sunday.