NFC Put On Notice By Atlanta Falcons With Win

Atlanta Falcons, Matt Bryant (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, Matt Bryant (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Falcons went on the road and won a playoff game in Los Angeles. The way they did it put the NFC on notice.

Everybody knows, or has known, that the Atlanta Falcons team has enough talent to compete in the NFC. The baffling part has been the uneven way that talent has performed at times this year. With the NFC Wild Card win in Los Angeles, the defending NFC Champion Falcons put the conference on notice that they are a truly tough out. The way they won that game, though, was the exclamation point on that notice.

With the Offense struggling with consistency a bit, still, the Defense put on a show. If, in fact, the Defense is starting to gel, and is going to play like that from here on out, the NFC Championship got a little more opaque. An Atlanta team that plays like that can play with anyone in the conference.

The entire Defense played well, as a unit. But what was really noticeable was the open field striking and tackling. There were a handful of times a short, safety-valve type pass would be completed, there was a one on one situation in the open field, and our guy put their guy on the ground. Solo. It was an impressive effort. If that kind of execution is sustainable, Atlanta will be in every game they play. Even, on the road.

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And while that side of the ball is getting most of the attention, something has to be said about Special Teams play. Matt Bryant continues his artistry. Kick coverage had two turnovers, giving the Offense a short field. Almost a perfect effort. Maybe it was perfect.

The Offense did do the things that are necessary for the team to win. Matt Ryan had zero turnovers. Julio Jones was targeted 10 times. They ran the ball effectively. All positive things.

Atlanta is favored against Number 1 Seed Philly. It is not normal for a road team to be favored in the NFL. It is unheard of for that to happen in the playoffs. Part of the reason for that is the QB situation in Philadelphia. But part of it is due to how the Falcons looked in L.A.

In a halting and frustrating season, at times, ATL made the playoffs, just won a Wild Card game in convincing fashion, and are favored on the road in the Divisional round.

Next: Atlanta Falcons Lean on Their Defense and Knock Rams Out of Playoffs

After the way they looked on Saturday, it isn’t crazy to think that the defending NFC Champions might get a chance at another title, and it seems like the national media, and the NFC, have taken notice.