Falcons defenders swarm Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski forcing a fumble recovered by Jalen Collins during the second quarter in the NFL football NFC Championship game on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons 44, Packers 21: What Mike McCarthy said

What Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said following Sunday’s 44-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game in the Georgia Dome:

“I’d first like to congratulate the Atlanta Falcons. Tremendous victory for them today. We ran into a buzzsaw. Those guys performed great and we didn’t have enough to keep up with them. So with that, here we are.

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“I’m very proud of my football team. Particularly the things that we were able to fight through throughout the course of the year. This is clearly not the way we were anticipating or preparing for our season to end. Frankly, we ran out of gas.”

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“We didn’t stop them at all defensively. They pretty much controlled the clock. The big plays in the first half were 16-7. The production there was obviously a key.”

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“Offensively, we needed to match them. They beat us on the third down with the blitz, we didn’t pick (Deion) Jones through the A gap. We missed the field goal and then we had the fumble. We needed to keep pace with those guys. We felt confident that we would be able to score points.”

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“We got behind and got into a game that you just don’t want to play, especially in this stadium. The crowd was fantastic. It was a great environment to compete in. It factored a little bit for us in some of our communication. There’s a handful of times we couldn’t get the play in. That’s a credit to the crowd.”

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