Falcons dominate Packers 44-21 to earn trip to Super Bowl 51

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ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons runs after a catch for a 73 yard touchdown against Damarious Randall #23 of the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons are headed to their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history after routing the Green Bay Packers 44-21 in the NFC championship game.

Matt Ryan threw for four touchdowns, including a 73-yard catch-and-run for a highlight-reel score by star receiver Julio Jones. The defense played just as crucial a role in containing quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense.

Rodgers had 287 yards with three touchdown passes and an interception. But the Falcons got to Rodgers with pressure and forced two Green Bay turnovers. Rodgers was outplayed by Ryan, who even ran for a 14-yard touchdown.

Atlanta will play either New England or Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl on Feb. 5 in Houston.

The only other time that Atlanta made the Super Bowl was in the 1998 season. The Falcons lost 34-19 to the Denver Broncos.

The Packers fell in the NFC title game for the second time in three seasons.

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