After getting blown out in the last two post seasons they found themselves in, the Atlanta Falcons have shaken off that stigma and were just four points short of the Super Bowl. For what it’s worth, I’m pretty darn proud of them.
I’m a lifelong Falcon fan. Make no mistake about that. I could never be a sports journalist in any NFL market that didn’t start with “At” and end with “lanta”. I’m biased as hell, and I’m not going to lie about it.
With all that said, I’m often realistic about the Birds. I held no delusions about their spotty run defense, for example. What I saw today was one hell of a game by a team that is maybe one or two players away from making it to the NFL’s big dance. Another defensive lineman to compliment John Abraham, and I honestly believe they’ll be experiencing what San Francisco is enjoying right now.
The Falcons held a 13-3 regular season record, coming just four points short of the Super Bowl. They played hard, and the offense was great all night long until San Fran finally got a hit on Matt Ryan that seems to have injured his shoulder. Ryan was tough and kept playing, but his mechanics weren’t going to be as good as they were. It’s a shame too, because with both Julio Jones and Roddy White pulling down 100 yard games, you would think it would have been enough.
However, the defense let the team down. It’s a shame too, but after last week, it’s hardly surprising.
The Falcons are angling for a new stadium. What they need are some new players on a defense that blew a 20 point lead last week, and then a 17 point lead on Sunday. Get that, and then maybe folks would be willing to discuss a new stadium. Hoisting the Lombardi Trophy would make a lot of people willing to vote that way.