Davante Adams caught 3-of-3 targets for 16 yards and a touchdown in the Packers' NFC Championship Game loss to the Falcons.
Labeled one of the worst "every-day," so to speak, players in football as he played through an ankle injury last season, Adams had a breakout 2016. His 12 touchdown receptions were tied for second in football, and tripled his previous career total of four. Adams spiked his yards per catch to 13.3 after entering 2016 with an ugly 10.5 mark. Per Pro Football Focus, 407 of Adams’ 997 yards came after first contact. If there was an issue, it was Adams’ hands, as he muffed nine passes. Still somehow only 24, Adams has earned Aaron Rodgers’ trust and will be a legitimate top-15 option for 2017 after finishing as the WR7 (seriously) this year.
Jordy Nelson caught 6-of-9 targets for 67 yards and a touchdown in the Packers' NFC Championship Game loss to the Falcons.
Nelson probably shouldn’t have been playing after suffering a gruesome ribs injury in the Wild Card round, but looked no worse for the wear as he gutted out tough catches. Returning from a torn ACL, Nelson looked a step or two slower during his age-31 campaign — his 13.0 yards per catch was his lowest since 2010 — but he made up for it with his toughness and savvy. Nelson caught a league-high 14 touchdowns, and tallied the second-most receptions of his career (97). He remains one of the best players in football. Even at age 32, Nelson should be a WR1 in 2017.
Aaron Rodgers completed 27-of-45 passes for 287 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in the Packers' 44-21 loss to the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.
After it initially looked like Rodgers’ 2015 funk was carrying over to another campaign, the best overall player in the league was transcendent the final two-thirds of the season. Rodgers posted a 30:3 TD:INT total over his final 11 starts, and tore up the Giants and Cowboys in the postseason before the Packers ran into the Falcons’ buzzsaw. Rodgers totaled 40 scores during the regular season, good for the second 40-TD season of his career, and 12th in league history. Now 33, Rodgers picked up a few soft-tissue injuries, but appeared in all 16 games for the third-consecutive year. If the Pack could ever get Rodgers a consistent running game or defense, they will win another Super Bowl.
Matt Ryan completed 27-of-38 passes for 392 yards and four touchdowns in the Falcons' NFC Championship Game victory over the Packers.
Ryan was scary good, surgically guiding the Falcons’ offense to score after score. He was doing so against a comically undermanned defense, but Ryan has been shredding all comers for all of 2016-17. He looked genuinely unstoppable this afternoon, spreading the ball around to every Falcons skill player and always locating the open man. He entered halftime with 271 yards. Ryan is the leader of a well-oiled machine, one that will have a great chance of bringing home the Falcons’ first Lombardi regardless of their Super Bowl LI opponent.
Martellus Bennett (knee) is active for the AFC Championship Game.
Bennett has been banged up for nearly all of 2016-17, but his status was not in doubt. Bennett is a red zone threat who hasn't done much compiling since his health went south.
Patriots WR Michael Floyd is a healthy scratch for the AFC Championship Game.
Floyd was dreadful in last week's win over the Texans, and is paying the price with everything on the line for the Patriots this evening. Malcolm Mitchell is active, and should return to his pre-Floyd snaps/usage level.
Ladarius Green (concussion) is inactive for the AFC Championship Game.
Green's concussion has lingered long enough that he should be considered no better than 50-50 for a potential Super Bowl appearance in two weeks. Also inactive for the Steelers are WR Demarcus Ayers, QB Zach Mettenberger, CB Al-Hajj Shabazz, LB L.J. Fort, DE Johnny Maxey and OT Brian Mihalik,
Malcolm Mitchell (knee) is active for the AFC Championship Game.
With Michael Floyd a healthy scratch, Mitchell should see a ton of snaps against the Steelers. In addition to Floyd, inactive for the Patriots are QB Jacoby Brissett, RB D.J. Foster, OT LaAdrian Waddle, CB Cyrus Jones, CB Justin Coleman and S Jordan Richards.