As the NFL playoffs began, I was highly critical of the Atlanta Falcons and the fact they hadn’t won a playoff game in many years. The Falcons nearly proved me right again after allowing a 20-point lead to slip away before scoring a 30-28 win over the Seattle Seahawks to advance to the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. While Atlanta may have won the game to advance, I’m still not that impressed with them.
The Falcons did jump out to a 20-0 lead on Seattle at home but when you got a 20-point lead at home in the fourth quarter, you can’t allow the lead to get away from you no matter what. It is completely unacceptable and Atlanta is lucky that they had a chance to get the game-winning field goal. I think it will be a much different story next week when San Francisco comes to town with that defense that should slow down Atlanta.
I thought that would happen this week with the Seattle defense though and really didn’t but I do think San Francisco has a better defense than Seattle. One of the biggest questions in my mind right now is can the Falcons avoid crumbling under the pressure of their first NFC Championship Game in many years? It will definitely be a tall task to win this game even at home with an experienced 49ers team that was at this point last season and got denied the Super Bowl. Atlanta is slowly convincing me but still hasn’t made it yet.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.