Welcome to your NFC championship Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com. Grab a strong cup of coffee and get caught up on everything you need to know about the Packers before they take on the Atlanta Falcons for the right to go to Super Bowl LI.
As always on gameday, we start with Bob McGinn’s game preview for all the goods on the game.
The spread (Green Bay +5) is wacky. The Packers should have a better chance to pressure Matt Ryan than the Falcons have to pressure Aaron Rodgers. Home-field advantage? Should be because it’s the last game in the building. But the dome has never really been loved, and Falcons fans usually don’t even bother to walk in until the first quarter is half over.
Bob also has a column up on the Packers’ pass protection techniques and how other team’s coaching staffs are starting to study their technique.
On the injury front, Tom Silverstein and Michael Cohen reported late Saturday afternoon that most of the Packers’ injured players will be available for today’s game.
Barring any setbacks during pregame workouts, receivers Jordy Nelson (broken ribs), Davante Adams (ankle) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring), and safety Morgan Burnett (thigh) are going to be available, according to a league source. Nelson, Adams, Allison and Burnett all remained questionable after practice Saturday, which means they have a 1 percent to 50 percent chance of playing.
The Packers made one change to their injury report after their Saturday morning practice, listing running back Christine Michael questionable with a back injury.
The biggest issue McCarthy faces in playing the injured is figuring out how to use them knowing they aren't 100 percent and could drop out of the game at any time. If all four of them dropped out, McCarthy would be down to 42 players in a game that is expected to be a track meet and will require as many healthy bodies as possible.
Thus, he has to make a risk-reward determination with each player.
The Packers also made a roster move Saturday.
Pete Dougherty writes that Aaron Rodgers has been taking more calculated risks in the second half of the season, and that has helped spark his incredible play.
Mason Crosby’s heroics in Dallas are rooted in preparation. Ryan Wood chronicles Crosby’s methods and routine.
I chatted with Packers fans Saturday afternoon, mostly about Sunday’s big matchup:
Elsewhere, Packers tight end Jared Cook has written an excellent ode to Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers for the Players Tribune:
The Packers had a bit of an adventure getting to Atlanta:
NBA great Magic Johnson paid Rodgers an incredible compliment:
Charley Casserly gave his breakdown on how to slow down Rodgers and the weaknesses of the Packers' defense for NFL Network:
This is an excellent look at Rodgers’ competitive nature from Jason Wilde:
Jordy Nelson is reportedly going above and beyond to play in Sunday’s game:
Ted Nguyen has a great film-based breakdown on Rodgers’ game outside the pocket:
Rob Demovsky writes on the special relationship between Rodgers and his quarterbacks coach, Alex Van Pelt:
Pro Football Focus highlights a key matchup in Sunday’s game:
Adam Schein opines that this day features the best four quarterbacks ever to play on championship Sunday.
Speaking of the four quarterbacks playing Sunday, this is a very interesting, data-driven look at their four respective careers:
There is no one way for someone to become a Packers fan.
FOX Sports previews Packers-Falcons:
It’s a good news/bad news scenario for the Falcons:
The Chicago Bears and their fans can only look on with envy as they continue their journey through quarterback purgatory:
The troll game in Janesville is strong: