The vast majority doubted the Atlanta Falcons this season. No matter what they did, the public wasn’t ready to buy into them. The Falcons had one of the greatest offensive seasons of all time, no one bought in. Who could win the Super Bowl coming out of the NFC? Dallas, Green Bay, New York, Seattle were all named ahead of them. But they stayed on course and just kept chipping away.
When the moment to prove everyone wrong presented itself on Sunday, the Falcons made a statement. Atlanta poured it on Green Bay all afternoon, scoring 45 points. The Falcons were favored in Vegas but analysts had a hard time going against Aaron Rodgers. Even though the Falcons had an MVP candidate of their own in Matt Ryan showing out.
With a chance to make his first Super Bowl in his 9 year career, Ryan put on a show in the last game in the Georgia Dome. But he wasn’t satisfied about this win at all.
“We’ll enjoy it because it’s hard to get to this point. I know that from experience,” Ryan said. “But our ultimate goal is still in front of us.”
Total Team Effort
MVP chants rang through the Georgia Dome but Ryan wasn’t the only one to put in an all time performance. Atlanta’s defense wasn’t given a chance all week as “experts” and others believed Rodgers would pick them apart. They made sure that didn’t happen by finally allowing touchdowns when the game was over and getting constant pressure on Rodgers.
Julio Jones, who barely practiced all week because of his toe injury, looked like a grown man. I’m talking about a real grown man. Imagine a younger version of you playing against your dad or older brother in a game of 1 on 1. Yeah, he looked that physically dominant. Jones finished with 180 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 73 yard catch-and-run, breaking tackles and stiff arming a defender.
“I didn’t practice that much throughout the week,” Jones said, “but today I came out and gave it all I had.”
Ryan commented more on his performance. “He’s a beast, I’ve been lucky to play with him as long as I have. He was impressive today. I know he wasn’t feeling his best, but he’s a warrior.”
Atlanta fans including myself know the heartbreak this team has given us. From giving up leads to key turnovers to just overall hopes and dreams being broken. This team feels different and looks different.
The Atlanta Falcons are ready to close the deal and capture that elusive Super Bowl.