I just checked my pulse and yes I am still alive! What a ballgame, what a finish! This is what playoff football is all about. Two teams that did not want to go home but unfortunately one team had to. Before I go any deeper I would like to congratulate Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks on a truly hard fought and gritty season. Wilson displayed the poise of a seasoned vet and deserves to be named the Rookie of the year, hold your head up kid you will be back.
Atlanta, what can I say? First off, Tony Gonzalez has come a long way and the road has been filled with potholes but through faith and patience he can finally enjoy a playoff win. Viva la raza! As far as Matt Ryan and Mike Smith, you can say the monkey is off their back but the mission is not complete. Matt finally lived up to his nickname at the end of that game. Cool and calm he drove the Falcons into FG range for Matt Bryant and saved their season and his name, thanks of course to a ridiculous timeout call by Pete Carroll. All of that aside the biggest winners here are the Falcons faithful who, for about 30 seconds late in the fourth, were already thinking of excuses to defend their team's debacle. Congrats Atlanta and good luck to you next week.
I have to rank this game as one of the greatest I have ever seen. It had all of the variables a great game needs. A fired up home team with a raucous crowd. An underdog road team falling behind 20 points with nothing going right. As we saw from the Seahawks all season they fought back and refused to give in. One can say that the Falcons survived just as easily as you can say they were victorious. The Falcons won the game but you can't say they're was a loser in this one. Unless of course you figure in the game management by Seattle and head coach Pete Carroll. The debacle at the end of the first half was inexcusable. How Seattle doesn't end up with at least a FG is mind boggling and looms even larger now that they lost by 2 points. Finally there was the old 'freeze the kicker' timeout taken just before Matt Bryant kicked one just outside the right upright. That philosophy has to end it's horrible and most of the time it works out in the favor of the kicker. All that being said you cannot take anything away from Atlanta. They were a bit conservative after going ahead 27-7 but who can blame them? They were running the ball well and had no reason to question the way their defense was playing. The Seahawks found a great formula on offense in the forth but at the end Atlanta did not panic and displayed the poise and confidence that is needed to contend. HOTlanta moves on, HOTdamn!