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Rodgers works Hail Mary magic for Packers

Associated Press logo Associated Press 8/01/2017 Genaro C. Adams

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, master of the Hail Mary pass, struck again in another big moment.

Rodgers overcame a sluggish start and finished with four touchdown passes, including a momentum-swinging 42-yard heave to Randall Cobb at the end of the second quarter, to lead the Packers to a 38-13 NFL playoff win on Sunday over the New York Giants in an NFC wildcard game.

The Packers move on to face the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round next Sunday (Monday AEDT) in Texas.

Rodgers was 25 of 40 for 362 yards, continuing a remarkable run of quarterback play that helped the Packers win their final six games of the regular season to take the NFC North.

Cobb finished with five receptions for 116 yards and three scores.

For much of the first half, the Giants' defence flustered the two-time NFL MVP.

They got pressure on Rodgers and the secondary blanketed the Packers' talented receiving corps, and a few boos even rained down from the stands after New York built a 6-0 lead on two field goals by Robbie Gould.

As it turned out, Rodgers was just getting started.

"We hit a Hail Mary. That got us going," Rodgers said.

Green Bay scored two touchdowns in the final 2:20 of the second quarter, punctuated by another remarkable desperation pass by Rodgers.

With the ball on the Giants' 42, Rodgers took the snap with 6 seconds left.

He rolled to his right before heaving a throw from about the Packers' 47.

Cobb somehow got behind three defensive backs near the back of the end zone to haul in the pass, getting both feet down before falling out of bounds.

"They boxed us out better than we played it," Giants coach Ben McAdoo said.

"It was a heck of a throw, heck of a catch."

The Giants looked stunned, just like how the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals looked last season after Rodgers pulled off similar feats.

"Davante (Adams) made a bunch of plays," Rodgers said.

"And Randall Cobb, who this offence has been missing for a long time. We're better with 18 on the field and he showed it tonight."

Earlier, the Pittsburgh Steelers' blitzing defence forced three turnovers in a 30-12 rout of the Miami Dolphins in their AFC wildcard game.

Le'Veon Bell ran for two touchdowns and a team playoff record 167 yards while Antonio Brown caught two first-quarter touchdown passes of at least 50 yards for the hosts Pittsburgh.

Getting only their second playoff win since last appearing in the Super Bowl during the 2010 season, the AFC North champion Steelers will play at AFC West champion Kansas City next Sunday in a divisional-round game.

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