Now that is how the ‘Birds should have been playing the game. For those that missed it, the Atlanta Falcons simply had their way with the Jacksonville Jaguars for three quarters, their only flaw being on special teams when Jacksonville blocked a punt and ran it in for a score.
The secondary that I have maligned so horribly decided to shut me up by keeping rookie Blaine Gabbert to under 22 yards for most of the game. Matt Ryan looked simply amazing as the Falcons simply spanked Jacksonville 41 to 14.
Honestly, it was nearly as close as the score indicated either.
Ryan only totaled 224 yards for the game, but when you have as short a field as he had for most of the game, that’s going to happen. John Abraham, “The Beast” as I like to call him, when wild on the Jags with three and a half sacks and two forced fumbles, one of which was run in by Corey Peterson for a touchdown.
The fact is that this is the Atlanta team we expected to see all season long. They simply dominated. However, there’s one thing to keep in mind, and that’s the fact that they were playing Jacksonville. Yes, it’s the National Football League and even the chump teams will tear you up if you’re not careful, but this wasn’t the Packers or the Saints.
However, mistakes get exploited by all teams, and Atlanta just didn’t make them. If they can take this game and do the same thing against New Orleans and Tampa Bay, two division games that are anything but a “gimme”, and Atlanta will not just clench a playoff berth, but possibly a second straight division championship.
The game to watch next week will definitely be Atlanta and New Orleans. On the list of great football rivalries, this one hasn’t made the grade, but it will soon enough.
Over years, these two teams have battled each other as fiercely as any two competitors can, and the past few seasons have brought in stakes that make this game a “can’t miss” as far as pure entertainment.
The Saints won in overtime earlier this season on a bad call from Mike Smith to go for it on fourth down, a mistake he will not make again. The Falcons are most likely looking for a little payback, and the idea of another banner hanging from the rafter at the Georgia Dome probably doesn’t hurt either. The Saints are in the driver’s seat for the NFC South, but Atlanta has to take care of their business first before they can even dream.
There’s a reason this game is on Monday night. It’s bound to be a classic, just like the last few games these teams have played against one another has been. Personally, I can hardly wait!