Bryan Altman

When Las Vegas set the over/under for the Packers-Falcons NFC Championship game at 60.5, many still doubted whether that number would be high enough for two of the hottest offenses and quarterbacks in the NFL against mediocre, at best, defensive units.

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On Sunday, however, the Falcons’ defense came out firing and stifled Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense for much of the first half.

The Packers’ most successful drive was their first of the day. Rodgers led the Packers down the field on a seven-play, 52-yard drive and into field goal range for last weekend’s hero Mason Crosby, who proceeded to miss the 41-yard try.

The next drive for the Packers featured typical Rodgers dominance as well as the Packers moved straight down the field, but a fumble forced by cornerback Jalen Collins deep in Falcons territory undid the Packers this time.

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That was the last time the Packers would cross the mid-field mark in the first half.

The Falcons were in the backfield pressuring Rodgers relentlessly the rest of the half, keeping the star QB on the turf and in the pocket more often than not.

The Packers were only able to convert on 1-of-4 third down conversion attempts and only registered 21 plays on offense compared to 46 for the Falcons.

While the Falcons’ defense has been better of late, not even the most optimistic Falcons fan likely expected to see a zero next to the Packers’ name on the scoreboard — especially considering that the Packers put 32 points up on the Falcons when these teams met back in Week 8.

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Needless to say, in the biggest game of the year thus far, the Falcons’ defense has stepped up big time.