LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — After another improbable throw from Aaron Rodgers that propelled the Green Bay Packers to a playoff win, coach Mike McCarthy was asked if it was the best one yet from his star quarterback.
“It’s the best one today, that’s for sure,” McCarthy said after a wild 34-31 divisional playoff win Sunday over the Dallas Cowboys that was the Packers’ eighth straight and sent them to the NFC championship game.
Rodgers threw a 36-yard pass to a toe-dragging Jared Cook on the sideline, and Mason Crosby kicked a 51-yard field goal on the next play as time expired, sending the two-time MVP into a showdown next Sunday with the possible winner this year, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan.
Meanwhile, a late miscue by the Kansas City Chiefs helped send the Pittsburgh Steelers to the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.
Chiefs’ lineman Eric Fisher held Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison on a 2-point conversion that would have tied the game at 18. Forced to attempt the conversion again, Alex Smith’s pass to the end zone was batted incomplete, allowing Pittsburgh to hold onto its lead with about three minutes left. And when Ben Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown to convert a crucial third down, the Steelers managed to escape foggy Arrowhead Stadium with an 18-16 victory Sunday night.
The Steelers will now face the Patriots, who defeated the Houston Texans 34-16 Saturday. The Packers will travel to Atlanta to play the Falcons, who easily handled the Seattle Seahawks 36-20.
Last week, Aaron Rodgers threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns and The Packers knocked out the Giants, who saw limited action from Odell Beckham, Jr., 23-16 at Lambeau Field. Green Bay will play the NFC East Champion Cowboys in Dallas in the NFC Divisional Round on Sunday.
Le’Veon Bell broke Franco Harris’ team postseason record with 167 rushing yards. He also had two touchdowns as host Pittsburgh dispatched Miami 30-12. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had to use a walking boot after game due to an ankle injury on the final sack of the game. The Steelers will play the AFC West Champion Chiefs in Kansas City Sunday. Roethlisberger vows to play.
A week ago Saturday, Houston easily handled the injury-riddled visiting Raiders who looked to third-string quarterback and rookie Connor Cook, but there wasn’t enough experience there. The Texans will visit the New England Patriots Saturday in the AFC Divisional Round. The Patriots finished the season with NFL’s best record at 14-2.
Russell Wilson was 23-of-30 passing and the Seattle Seahawks took care of the visiting Detroit Lions 26-6. The Lions set an NFL record with their ninth straight postseason loss. Seattle will travel to play the NFC South Champion Atlanta Falcons in the Divisional Round Saturday.
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Sunday, Jan. 22
NFC Championship: Green Bay at Atlanta
AFC Championship: Pittsburgh at New England
SUPER BOWL LI
At Houston. Sunday, February 5, 3:30 PST
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