3 PFF stats to know for Packers-Falcons NFC title game

Jeff Dooley reveals the three stats you need to know entering Sunday's NFC Conference Championship game.

| 4 months ago
Julio Jones

(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

3 PFF stats to know for Packers-Falcons NFC title game

After the Atlanta Falcons’ demolition of the Seahawks on Saturday, and the Green Bay Packers’ thrilling last-second win over the Cowboys on Sunday, the NFC championship game lineup is set. Here are the three key PFF stats you need to know for the upcoming Packers-Falcons matchup:

1. Aaron Rodgers ranks second in PFF’s season quarterback grades, with an overall mark of 93.7. Matt Ryan ranks third at 92.6.

Only New England’s Tom Brady has recorded a higher grade this season than the two NFC passers squaring off on Sunday. Rodgers and Ryan are each coming off of excellent performances in their Divisional Round wins, and outside of an early-season slump from Rodgers, have been among the best players in the entire league all year long.

2. Green Bay’s offensive line allowed Rodgers to be pressured on just seven of his 47 dropbacks in the win over Dallas.

The Packers continued their outstanding performance in pass protection on Sunday, after ranking No. 1 in PFF pass-blocking grades and pass-blocking efficiency during the regular season.

While the Falcons had a more accomplished pass rush this season than the Cowboys did, they rank just 12th in PFF’s pass-rushing grades—meaning this matchup still leans in the favor of the Packers. The key Atlanta player to keep an eye on will be Vic Beasley, who ranks first among all edge defenders with 16 sacks in the regular season; he’ll be matched up on most plays against right tackle Bryan Bulaga.

3. When targeting WR Julio Jones, Ryan earned a passer rating of 139.1 in Atlanta’s win over Seattle.

Jones helped Ryan to this mark despite being covered by Seahawks CB Richard Sherman—one of the NFL’s best corners—on six of his eight targets, finishing with four catches totaling 39 yards and a touchdown against Sherman, with an additional two receptions for 28 yards against other defenders.

Meanwhile, the Packers’ two primary outside cornerbacks—Damarious Randall and Ladarius Gunter—allowed passer ratings against Dallas of 141.4 and 136.6, respectively, after combining to give up 12 catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns on 16 targets. They will have their hands full covering Jones and WR Taylor Gabriel, among other weapons in the Falcons’ offense, in Sunday’s championship matchup.

| Editor-in-Chief

Jeff is the Editor-in-Chief of PFF, and a regular contributor to The Washington Post's NFL coverage. He previously worked as the editor for ESPN Insider's NFL, Fantasy, and College Football coverage.

  • bobulated

    This might be a “whoever has the ball last wins” shootout.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I’ll be interested to see if the Packers can sustain the emotional high that resulted from the last second win in Dallas. If the Falcons catch them flat this will be a romp.

      • Jeff Nelson

        Great point. The Packers were jubilant after beating the Cowboys, so I hope they manage to get in some serious preparation for Atlanta.

        Immediately after the win over the Giants, Green Bay was sober and looking like, “Okay, lets get to work on beating Dallas.”

        I don’t know if it’s a problem for the Packers or not, but definitely harder to get dialed-in after that amazing and intense finish!

  • Tommy

    If GB wins this game, it will be because RB Ty Montgomery has a MONSTER game running the ball/catching the ball. Like 130+ yds on the ground. And zero turnovers. Otherwise, I think ATL will win as GB’s CB’s are decimated by injury and just won’t hold up against an elite QB with talented skill players.