Devonta Freeman, right, and Tevin Coleman give the Falcons two dynamic threats in the backfield

MVP front-runner Matt Ryan is on a hot streak at the right time. He has guided the Falcons to five straight victories, including a 36-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round. Ryan has thrown 14 touchdowns and no interceptions in the five-game stretch. He needs to make sure he plays turnover-free Sunday with a Super Bowl berth on the line.

Ryan certainly knows what’s at stake as he goes up against two-time MVP Rodgers, another quarterback who’s on fire.

“I don’t specifically have to go out on the field and defend Aaron, which is a good thing for us,” Ryan said with a laugh this week. “I played against him a number of times. I’ve gotten to know him throughout the years. He’s a good friend. And I respect him so much because he’s such a great competitor.”

Ryan won the last battle between the two during Week 8 of the regular season. But Rodgers won the most important one when the Packers marched into Atlanta as the underdog during the 2010 season and knocked the Falcons out of the playoffs with a 48-21 thumping. Rodgers went on to win the Super Bowl.

Ryan certainly doesn’t want history to repeat itself in the final game at the Georgia Dome.

And Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, coming off an ankle injury, will present a challenge to cornerbacks Robert Alford and Jalen Collins. Not to mention the slight possibility of Jordy Nelson returning from a rib injury; he dipped behind the Falcons’ defense in Week 8 for a 58-yard pass play. All of that adds up to a tall challenge for the Atlanta defense.

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