The Atlanta Falcons sure closed out the Georgia Dome in style on Sunday when they hammered the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game 44-21. Both teams came out moving the football but Atlanta moved it across the goal line early and often while the Packers first couple of drives ended with a missed field goal and a fumble in the red zone recovered by the Falcons. With Matt Ryan finding Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu running free in the Green Bay secondary they found themselves up 24-0 at halftime and making plans for Houston in two weeks.
The Georgia Dome is no more after today as the Falcons hope to open Mercedes Benz Stadium next year with a World Championship Ring ceremony. The Falcons have been to one Super Bowl and have yet to win it. But if they play close to what they have in these playoffs, Atlanta sports fans may celebrate the city’s second ever sports championship and first since the Braves won the 1995 World Series. The Braves won 14 straight division titles and went to five World Series in the late 1990s and early 200s, and got only that one championship to show for it. If the Falcons can win it all. it might be the end of the biggest sports curse this side of Cleveland in sports history.
Matt Ryan, most people’s choice for the NFL MVP in 2016, will have a chance to put himself in the conversation of best NFL quarterbacks with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, and Ben Roethlisberger. On Sunday he outplayed one of the best in Rodgers going 27 for 38 with four touchdowns.
Green Bay perhaps was spent after last weeks nail biter over the Dallas Cowboys. They came out looking like they’d be able to match the Falcons point for point but the young and talented Falcons defense rose up in the red zone, putting pressure on Rodgers and stopping them short of the end zone and forcing a critical fumble on a big run up the middle when it looked like the Packers were about to score and get back in the game.
Julio Jones caught eight balls for 180 yards and two TDs as he was a man among boys in this game. Can the Falcons keep it up for one more game and win the team’s first Super Bowl? Aaron Rodgers and the Packers would not bet against them.