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Mike McCarthy on Falcons: 'We ran into a buzz saw'

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Before they knew it, the Green Bay Packers found themselves left in the kicked-up dust of Sunday's NFC title game bout with the Atlanta Falcons.

"We ran into a buzz saw," Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters in the aftermath of his team's 44-21 destruction in the Georgia Dome. "Those guys performed great. We didn't have enough to keep up with them."

McCarthy wasn't kidding.

The Falcons zoomed out to a 31-0 advantage behind the pristine play of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who laced the ball to eight different receivers en route to 392 yards and four scores through the air.

Along the way, Atlanta's 30 first downs fell just four short of an NFL postseason record. Had the Falcons cared about such a mark, they could have reached it with ease. A 24-0 halftime lead for Atlanta also marked the first time Green Bay had trailed by 24-plus points at the break since the beginning of the Aaron Rodgers era in 2008.

"We didn't stop them at all, defensively ... Their production (in first half) was a big key," McCarthy said.

"We needed to keep pace with those guys ... There were communication issues. There were a handful of times we couldn't get a play in, and that's a credit to the crowd."

The Packers couldn't "keep pace" with Kyle Shanahan's fascinating, electric offense -- and they couldn't get out of their own way with a missed field goal and game-changing fumble over their first two drives. The turnover triggered a 14-point swing as Atlanta raced right down the field for another touchdown and the 17-0 lead.

Running out of ways to describe Sunday's bloodbath, McCarthy conceded: "They played lights out."

It's the kind of loss that allows for plenty of finger-pointing. The defense imploded and the Rodgers-led offense fell to pieces, while Green Bay's typically sturdy offensive line allowed a pair of sacks and seven quarterback hits.

After looking like Super Bowl-material a week ago, the Packers on Sunday were reduced to a footnote along Atlanta's path of destruction through the NFC. Any questions about the better team were put to bed with force.

Said McCarthy: "Frankly, we ran out of gas."

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