In a game that came down to a final call, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 26-21 to move onto the NFC Championship game in Seattle. A hobbled Aaron Rodgers passed for 316 yards and three touchdowns with a 125.4 passer rating, while Eddie Lacy ran for 101 yards on the ground.
In case you missed Sunday's action, here's our game recap:
Green Bay capitalized on Dallas' three-and-out on the opening drive, as the Packers took an early 7-0 lead. Rodgers attempted just three passes on the Packers' opening drive that featured a lot of pistol formation and no-huddle offense. Running back Eddie Lacy saw a heavy workload on the first drive that resulted in a four-yard touchdown from Rodgers to Andrew Quarless. Lacy carried the ball seven times and gained 45 yards on the ground, including a 19-yard run after Rodgers' first pass attempt.
Two tough calls on the Packers kept Dallas' second drive alive that ended in a one-yard touchdown from Tony Romo to Tyler Clutts. A brutal hold from linebacker Brad Jones on third down kept the Cowboys' second drive going, while a pass interference from Tramon Williams on Terrence Williams near the goal line gave the Cowboys a fresh set of downs a play before the score. The Cowboys capped a 12-play, 62-yard drive with the first quarter winding down.
Dallas stalled Green Bay's second drive after Jeremy Mincey forced a fumble while sacking Rodgers. Rookie center Corey Linsley snapped the ball too early at the line, and after escaping to his right, Mincey drilled Rodgers to the ground. The Packers were in manageable field goar range at the time. A Terrence Williams 38-yard touchdown after breaking a tackle from Williams gave the Cowboys a 14-7 lead.
Late in the first half, a kick from Dan Bailey sailed right and prevented the Cowboys from scoring 17 straight points before the end of the half. Luckily, the Packers capitalized right after on their next drive, going 38 in just five plays. The drive mostly progressed after Randall Cobb made a wonderful grab inbounds for 31 yards near the sideline, bringing the Packers to the 27. A Mason Crosby kick from 40 yards out made the score 14-10 heading into halftime.
Despite not scoring on the first drive of the half, the Packers swung momentum back in their favor early in the second half. For the sixth time this season, Murray fumbled the football, and for the sixth time this season, Julius Peppers forced one. The Cowboys were driving on their first offensive drive, but a forced fumble by Peppers gave the Packers the ball from Dallas' 44.
On the ensuing drive, Lacy took his second hand-off of the drive 29 yards down field to put the Packers on the Dallas 16. A play after Lacy's big run, right guard T.J. Lang was involved in a scuffle near the right side of the field, which gave the Packers a 15-yard penalty after the referees called him for unnecessary roughness. That moved Green Bay to the 22 yard line after it was enforced from the seven. Crosby eventually settled for another field to make the score 14-13.
The Cowboys responded right away with a six-play, 80-yard drive that took just 3:34 and ended in a Murray score from one-yard out.
Davante Adams caught just four passes for 21 yards in the month of December, but put on a solid performance in today's game. After catching a pass across the middle from Rodgers, Adams put a nice shake on Sterling Moore and broke free toward the right sideline for 46 yards and a score:
The touchdown was the longest of Rodgers' postseason career, and cut the Cowboys lead to just one point at the end of the third. Soon after, the Packers put together maybe their best offensive series of the entire season. A hobbled Rodgers led the Packers 80 yards in eight plays while going 7-of-7 on the drive, including the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. While rolling out to his left, Rodgers threw an absolute rocket to rookie tight end Richard Rodgers to give Green Bay their first lead since the second quarter:
The 13-yard touchdown put the Packers up 26-21, as the Packers weren't able to convert a two-point conversion on the next play.
Needing a score to take back their lead, the Cowboys made it down to Green Bay's 32 yard line. Dallas elected to go for it on fourth and two. Romo dropped back and delivered a strike to Dez Bryant down the sideline who made a tremendous grab over Sam Shields while falling to the ground:
It was at first ruled a catch before Mike McCarthy challenged the call. In one of the more stranger rulings this season, the referees overturned the call after they ruled Bryant didn't complete the process.
Green Bay ran out the clock after Dallas turned the ball over on downs, moving them onto Seattle for the NFC Championship game, which will be held next Sunday, January 18th, at 2:05 PM Central Time.