So much for the conference championships being the best of the best, eh?
I mean, there were definitely two teams that were clearly the best in their respective conferences. There were also two teams who, by their displays on Sunday, have the teams they beat to get there ready to take the bridge.
Metaphorically, of course.
We knew the NFC Championship wasn’t going to be a defensive struggle. What we didn’t know was that the Green Bay Packers were going to forget how to cover anyone. Ever.
Add to that the fact that they Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan was only under pressured on 11 of his 38 pass attempts, which obviously yielded no sacks, the Packers registered one pass defensed. One. 37 other pass attempts failed to make contact with a Green Bay defender.
Were the Falcons that good? Or were the Packers that bad? Well, a little of both. I mean, the Falcons offense is easily the best in the league this year. You don’t need me to tell you that. The Packers defense was hobbled by injuries all year, but they managed to corral the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas and the New York Giants at home.
The Falcons offense, orchestrated by this year’s “second coming of football Christ”: Kyle Shanahan, was just another animal. They whooped the Seattle Seahawks and Sunday made sure the world knew it was no fluke.
What was really striking was just how out of it the Packers offense really was. From winning the opening coin toss and deferring on the road with a suspect D. That, my friends, is called putting all your eggs in one basket. The Falcons defense has been better as the season went on, but holding Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to 4-for-10 on third down is really something. The Packers seemed to be lacking something. Other analysts called it ‘effort’. I think that’s ridiculous. You’re going to tell me that the Packers just weren’t into it? One game away from the Super Bowl? I’m not buying it.
Rodgers just wasn’t Rodgers when it counted. The shoelace sack just mystifies me. I mean, lesser QB’s go down like that all the time. Rodgers has always seemed to be above mediocrity. Not Sunday.
The Falcons head to Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots, who will surely come up with some unusual way to take away all-world WR Julio Jones. If Shanahan really is a gifted game planner, we’ll find out on the grandest stage because you know Patriots coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will be ready.
I’ll call it a moral victory if none of the Falcons get arrested for solicitation this time.