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Green Bay claws its way past Falcons, keeps playoff hopes alive

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The Tundra is frozen.

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Aaron Rodgers and the most famous clavicle in medical history is still on the sidelines.

That means the Green Bay Packers would have to play near mistake-free football in order to get their first win sans A-Rod.

Matt Flynn was sacked three times, fumbled and tossed a ‘Pick 6’.

And that was just the very forgettable first half.
The Atlanta Falcons accepted the early Christmas presents at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

But then, they re-gifted.

The Packers, capitalizing on a Falcon fumble, overcame that dreadful half and clawed their way back to a 22-21 win.

The victory, coupled with Detroit’s loss in Philadelphia, means the Pack is a mere half-game out of first place in the NFC North with a 6-6-1 mark.

It would have been a real nail-biter for the fans.

But it was so cold, they were wearing gloves and mittens.

Thus GB’s playoff hopes, which were about to go on life support, just got upgraded to fair condition.

If head coach Mike McCarthy was frustrated by questions about Rodgers’ return last week, he will be positively nonplussed in the next seven days.

The Packers chewed up the majority of the first quarter with a their most solid drive of the season.

Despite slippery, cold and windy conditions; Flynn racked up first downs on short passes.

Eddie Lacy showed off some power runs and the quarter ended with him bowling over the goal line from the one.

Atlanta answered with Steven Jackson rushes and Matt Ryan passes.

Matty Ice, as the Falcon QB is known, hit Drew Davis in traffic and he gamboled for 36 yards and a score.

A blindside hit forced Flynn to cough up the ball at the Green Bay 17.

Atlanta needed just a couple of minutes to take the lead.

Tony Gonzalez slipped away from Morgan Burnett and hauled in a Ryan pass from the two.

It was 14-7 with 8:43 left in the first quarter.

A Mason Crosby 40-yard field goal narrowed the gap to 14-10 with 3:39 in the half.

It looked like the Pack was going to score again to close out the half.

But a Flynn pass to John Kuhn was kicked by linebacker Paul Worrilow and gathered in by LB Sean Weatherspoon who rambled 71 yards with the aid of porous tackling by several Packers for a ‘Pick 6.’

Crosby added field goals in the third and GB trailed 21-16 going into the final stanza.

Ryan’’s fumble was scooped up by Johnny Jolly deep in Falcon territory.

Flynn found Andrew Quarless and hit him with a back shoulder pass in the end zone from the two and Green Bay had the 22-21 lead with 12:05 to play.

A missed 53-yarder by Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant and a Jarrett Bush interception in the waning seconds sealed the deal.

The Packers will wait and see if the most famous clavicle in medical history has knitted sufficiently for Rodgers to play.

The Pack travels to Dallas to take on Burlington native Tony Romo and the Cowboys.

Kickoff is at 3:25 p.m.

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