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Super Falcons: Atlanta routs Packers 44-21 for NFC title

first_imgATLANTA (AP) Matt Ryan tumbled into the end zone, slammed the ball to the turf with a thunderous spike, and let out a scream that showed just how much he wanted this game.He wants the next one even more.With another MVP-worthy performance and plenty of help from Julio Jones, Matty Ice guided the Atlanta Falcons to a 44-21 rout of the Green Bay Packers for the NFC championship Sunday, a showing that erased any doubts about whether Ryan can win the big games.In his ninth season, he’s finally headed to his first Super Bowl .Call him Super Matty.“We’ll enjoy it because it’s hard to get to this point. I know that from experience,” Ryan said. “But our ultimate goal is still in front of us.”The Falcons (13-5) will face Tom Brady and the Patriots on Feb. 5 in Houston, just the second Super Bowl appearance in Atlanta’s 51-year history. Eighteen years ago, they lost to Denver in John Elway’s final game.New England, heading to its ninth Super Bowl, blew out Pittsburgh 36-17. The Patriots opened as a 3-point favorite.Ryan threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns, but it was his 14-yard scoring run — his first TD on the ground since 2012 — that really set the tone .Jones was right in the middle of things, too. After barely practicing during the week because of a lingering toe injury, he finished off the Packers with a 73-yard catch-and-run on Atlanta’s second snap of the second half, pushing the lead to 31-0 and essentially turning the rest of the Georgia Dome finale into one long celebration.“He’s a beast,” Ryan said. “I’ve been lucky to play with him as long as I have. He was impressive today. I know he wasn’t feeling his best, but he’s a warrior.”Jones finished with nine catches for 180 yards and two scores, which included a toe-dragging catch for a 5-yard touchdown with 3 seconds left in the first half, sending the Falcons to the locker room up 24-0.After the break: the play that showed every one of Jones’ remarkable skills . He blazed down the middle of the field, shook off LaDarius Gunter’s attempt to grab him on a cut toward the sideline, hauled in the pass from Ryan, broke Gunter’s diving attempt at tackle, and defiantly knocked away Damarious Randall’s with a brutal stiff-arm.“I didn’t practice that much throughout the week,” Jones said, “but today I came out and gave it all I had.”Ryan sparked more delirious chants of “MVP! MVP! MVP!” as he carved up an injury-plagued Packers secondary that had no way of stopping a team that averaged nearly 34 points a game during the regular season and romped to a 36-20 victory against Seattle’s Legion of Boom last week.The Packers, riding an eight-game winning streak and coming off a thrilling upset of the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys , got a taste of what they’d be in for on Atlanta’s very first possession. Driving 80 yards in 13 plays, the Falcons converted three third downs, the last when Ryan scrambled away from pressure and flipped a shovel pass to Mohamed Sanu for a 2-yard score.Aaron Rodgers pushed the Packers quickly into Atlanta territory with a 27-yard pass to Jordy Nelson, who missed the previous game with a rib injury. But Mason Crosby, who hit two field goals longer that 50 yards in the closing minutes against the Cowboys, pushed a 41-yard attempt right of the upright to snap a playoff-record streak of 23 straight field goals.The Falcons drove the other way, settling for Matt Bryant’s 28-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead. Then, with Green Bay poised to make a game of it, Atlanta’s much-maligned defense — one of the lowest ranked in the NFL — came through a momentum-swinging play. Fullback Aaron Ripkowski was breaking tackles and rumbling toward the end zone when Jalen Collins stripped the ball from behind and fell on it just across the goal line for a touchback.“Their offense is hot right now,” Rodgers said. “Playing a team like that, you’ve got to start faster. We had no points in the first half. You’re not going to win many games like that.”After the fumble, Ryan hooked up with Jones three times for 56 yards and finished it off from the 14 with some surprisingly nimble running skills, faking out one defender with a pump fake before sprawling into the end zone.“I just saw a lane open up,” said Ryan, who had a 1-4 record in the playoffs over his first eight seasons. “That’s the longest run I’ve had in a while. It came at a good time.”DON’T FORGET THE DEFENSEAtlanta’s defense, an afterthought compared to the other side of the line, kept the Packers out of the end zone until the game was essentially locked up.Rodgers finished 27 of 45 for 287 yards and three TDs, but he also threw an interception, was sacked twice and faced a relentless Falcons rush.The Falcons finished with a 493-367 edge in total yards.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Champions League rights sold to DAZN in Canada

first_imgUEFA Champions League Champions League & Europa League soccer rights bought by DAZN in Canada Goal 03:30 5/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) DAZN UCL rights GFX Getty/Goal composite UEFA Champions League Real Madrid v Liverpool Real Madrid Liverpool Ahead of Saturday’s highly anticipated final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, the streaming giant has revealed its latest North American coup UEFA has signed an exclusive three-year deal with streaming giants DAZN to become the only place for Canadians to watch Champions League and Europa League until 2022.Every single match in the twin European soccer tournaments will be available for fans to consume live – removing the pain of depending on what TV broadcasters choose to air.DAZN, which costs $20 a month or $150 annually, launched in Canada in 2017 and its CEO, James Rushton, hailed the move as one that is a perfect fit for soccer fans in North America. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now “Given its tremendous diversity, Canada is home to some of the biggest European soccer fans in the world, and we’re excited to revolutionize the way Canadians experience two of UEFA’s biggest global tournaments,” Rushton said in a statement on Thursday.“We pride ourselves on putting fans first, and we look forward to continuing to bring new rights and content to passionate Canadian fans, on the devices and in the ways they are consuming sport.”Real Madrid clash with Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final this weekend, which sees superstars Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo go head-to-head in Kiev.Canadians fans who have a DAZN account will be able to watch that match live on their streaming devices, with kick-off at 14:45 ET on Saturday.Next year’s Champions League will feature Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and many more world-class teams across the continent. The group stage gets under way in September after qualification rounds through the summer.The Europa League is packed full of soccer talent too, with Arsenal, Chelsea, AC Milan, Marseille and Villarreal among the top clubs guaranteed a spot in the 48-team group stage.DAZN launched in Canada in 2017 with an exclusive NFL offering, with the streaming service being the only place fans of the sport can watch every game of the upcoming season.Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1 matches are also available to soccer-loving Canadians who sign up to the streaming service, while fans of boxing, golf, tennis and motorsports will find something to watch on the platform. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more