Monday, January 14, 2013
Yesterday, the Atlanta Falcons reminded me of my Eagles...They had a huge lead, with the game nearly over..and somehow, just like my Eagles....They managed to squander a huge lead over the Seatle Seahawks and had to battle for their lives to survive...
The difference between them and the Philadelphia Eagles is ...They won the game...Yeah, they actually won the game...My Eagles would have found a way to lose the game...I know that sounds harsh coming from me..a lifelong Eagles fan, but it's the truth....I've seen it happen too many times....
But this isn't about the Eagles... This is about those other birds... The Atlanta Falcons.
The Atlanta Falcons (14-3) overcame their reputation for choking in the playoffs, winning their first postseason game since 2004.Looks like they'll host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game next Sunday with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
Gutty Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, doing all he could to make the Seahawks (12-6) the first playoff team ever to rally from such a daunting deficit in the final period. Marshawn Lynch appeared to have locked it up for the Seahawks when he scored on a 2-yard run with 31 seconds left for a 28-27 lead. Everyone in Atlanta was probably sweating bullets at this point. I was and I don't live there, don't have a dog in this fight...Still I wanted the Falcons to win.
The Seattle Seahawks' defense, which is one of the NFL's best and had totally stymied the Falcons in the fourth, went to a softer coverage and got burned. The Falcons had just enough time to pull off a comeback of their own....Everyone in the ATL can now exhale....
Matt Ryan , shaking off the struggles in his first three playoff appearances, hooked up with Harry Douglas on a 29-yard pass in front of the Falcons bench, and coach Mike Smith quickly signaled a timeout. Then, Ryan went down the middle to his favorite target, tight end Tony Gonzalez, a Hall of Famer-to-be playing what could've been his final game.
Tony Gonzalez hauled in the 19-yard throw, and Smith called his final timeout with 13 seconds remaining. Instead of risking another play and having the clock run out, he sent Bryant in for the field goal try.
The Seahawks called time just before the ball was snapped, and Bryant's kick sailed right of the upright. That turned out to be nothing more than practice. The next one was right down the middle, giving the Falcons a stunning victory. Bryant took off toward the Falcons logo in the middle of the field, pumping his right fist before he was mobbed by his teammates.
The Falcons won the first playoff game of the Ryan era, having gone one-and-done in his previous appearances to give the team - and its quarterback - a reputation for excelling in the regular season but choking in the postseason. Not anymore. Atlanta is one win away from the second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history...I'm happy for them...
My Eagles have been where they are now...Even made it to two super bowls... Now we've got to win one!!!
But so does the Falcons!
The beat goes on!