Atlanta takes the Next Step with victory over Seattle
It is very possible that the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants watched the Atlanta Falcons take that next step that they had burdened the birds to accomplish in the playoffs during the Smith / Ryan era.
That Step was one dramatic heart check victory that was so close to being the mordacious wound a team takes decades to shed, but instead emerges as that step to which Coach Smith and the entire coaching staff and all the players had focused and worked hard to obtain in a promise to themselves and to the fans with a playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks that stands along with the January 1999 playoff games in the forty six year history of the Falcon franchise. Sports can test patience, health and anger management without care for agonizing pain or jubilant entertainment, unless you are perhaps a Cubs fan.
Instead of teary “what if” chat scenarios Atlanta Fans now look to the team to take another step.
The chance for another step is because…………The Staff finally gave the pitchout a bigger role than the draw up the middle. Michael Turners seven yard average gain in a ninety eight yard rushing performance proved the year long ‘fresh legs’ theory was not a conspiracy. That the preseason promise of getting Jaquizz Rodgers more involved was a brilliant scheme that produced 64 yards rushing, 105 yards in kickoff returns and a couple of screen passes for good measure. With five Receivers recording at least two receptions , capped with a forty seven yard touchdown strike to Roddy White to end the first half maybe giving Diversity Distribution testimony that even the talented Seattle defense had not seen such weapons on offense this year. There is also argument for Tony G to take a step back and reconsider retirement for one more year. The Offensive line that took a while during the year to pull together as a unit did not give up a sack and is another big reason the Falcons have a chance to take another step. Speaking of chances, is there a chance after the Bryant 49 yard field goal to have two Matty Ice’s on one team ?
The chance for another step is also in part to a defensive line of Walker, Jerry, Matthews and led by Babineaux , that even without Super star John Abraham did a excellent job of containment and moving Russell from any comfort until the fourth quarter when his stats were compiled as it became a necessary panic situation because of the hole that was dug earlier . There will also be a chance for linebackers Weatherspoon, Nicholas and Dent to take the next step and become the very best group in all the NFL for their play on the field in this game had visions of such. One chance for the next step was a step Ryan and the offense took when Seattle came out of halftime and marched the field to score their first touchdown, but in turn took a seven and a half minute drive of their own which ended with a shuffle pass touchdown to Jason Snelling for a score of 27 – 7. A answer score like that is a step that every good playoff team must take and would usually be, and I thought to be, the final nail in a tired West coast team that had no answer to the rested, machine like execution of a number one seed. It may have well been just that if not for forced pass into double coverage early in the forth quarter which was intercepted by Seattle safety Thomas that gave the Seahawks Life, Hope and the pursuit of Happiness. I hope Smitty and crew look over that juncture of the game going forward, especially with the running game doing well and needing only eleven yards at the time, forcing deep into double coverage was as bad as the couple of three and outs in the same quarter that got a momentum shift and the lead to Seattle. Three Atlanta possessions in the fourth quarter that nearly ruined the entire day – that is how fine a line the playoffs lend to error. I trust the coaches and players will study, dissect and restructure the game plan after viewing the fourth quarter. There is a large weight lifted off the Atlanta Falcons with this Seattle win, the next step should not ever go backward.
Special thanks for a chance to another step to Pete Carroll for the time out that gave Bryant a practice boot.
That next step discussed so often over the last year for the Atlanta Falcons has been taken, a playoff win, and now have because of Good coaching, desire, determination, hard work and hope via Fan greed, a chance for the next step, and since we all know satisfaction is a short lived trait, the next Step after That.
Falcons winning a January game, a nice start to 2013.