The Latest: Ryan puts Falcons ahead with shovel pass

The Latest on 3:24 p.m. (all times Eastern):

Matt Ryan’s 3-yard shovel pass to Mohamed Sanu has put the Falcons up 7-0 on Green Bay in the NFC championship game, giving Atlanta an opening-drive TD in eight straight games.

With other receivers covered, Ryan rolled out of the pocket to his left and pitched the ball to Sanu, who was wide open just inside the goal line. It was the third third down of the drive with catches by Julio Jones and Sanu. Fullback Patrick DiMarco had the biggest gain, catching a pass in the right flats for a 31-yard gain.https://twitter.com/NFL/status/823262750688149504

Ryan has thrown 15 TDs and no interceptions in the Falcons’ last six games.

— George Henry reporting from Atlanta

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The NFC championship game is expected to close out the Georgia Dome with a shootout, with oddsmakers expecting 60 points combined from the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers.

That game opens conference championship Sunday at 3:05 p.m. on Fox, with the winner headed to Super Bowl 51 in Houston to take on the winner of the late game between the Patriots and Steelers.

Pittsburgh is a 4 1/2-point underdog in New England, where the weather shouldn’t be a huge factor. It’s cloudy, but the temperature should not drop below 35 degrees. That game starts around 6:40 p.m. on CBS.

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This post originally appeared on Townhall

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