Falcons face Giant opponent
It is one small match up in a long season, one Giant opponent for the Falcons.
Game number fourteen on Atlanta’s schedule has the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants coming to town in a match up that I see as a very important contest for the Dome team.
The Giants were my Dad’s team and I remember him chuckling when the winless Birds played against them in 1966 after opening their NFL legacy with nine straight losses as we listened to the game on radio as we drove for a Sunday drive to eventually get Ice Cream. You hear stories of folks glued to the radio in the forty’s and fifties and that day in the mid sixties I was one and the same. At almost Ten years old, (I would connect game Ten as a sign I had the right team thereafter) and loyal to a winless team, I do not remember any sights along the roads we traveled and couldn’t say what flavor I ate that day, so intent on listening to a few names like Nobis that I recognized and wishing and hoping for the miracle of them winning on the road against a team that owned a legendary history in the NFL. When the announcer declared as the clock ticked down that the Falcons had won their first game, I do recall clinching my fist in joy and telling Dad he should have never laughed at them. My Dad was a Giant Fan, but nowhere near the Bird watcher I’ve become and that day I think down deep he was really happy that his team had lost.
An Important game ? – yes – the Franchise first win has to be important for any and every team.
To a young fan, one win can erase nine losses, that’s insane math is it not?
This Sunday a win against the Giants can do so much for the Atlanta Falcons in the Smith / Ryan era.
With the South division title wrapped up some articles have suggested it is not that important of a game, not all that monstrous, especially for the Falcons. I very much disagree.
A victory will set up that home field advantage were so close to grabbing instead of clinging to hope going into the last two games. It would wash a bit of the agony of defeat we’ve had at the hands of this opponent since Smith / Ryan have come on board, the horrible wild card game last January and even a 2009 overtime loss the only meetings in the era I mentioned. Such a victory would be a confidence shot so desperately needed at this time of year by the Falcon team. December is the time when teams are separated from those who deserve to go forward and those who should have not come that far. Atlanta has been on the wrong side of that equation and every Falcon coach, player and fan realize that all too well, and a game like this would be a big step in that crossing to the other side equal to the victory over the Saints just two weeks ago.
This is a playoff caliber game. The Giants are Super bowl champions, sent us home in the playoffs early this year, will be playing their hardest and focused no different than that January game because they have plenty of motivation knowing they have not even earned a playoff spot to date. They are a formidable opponent and a victory will smooth that Carolina burp because a loss at the nest will send a winter chill of nervousness throughout Falcon land. The Giants are a team that has destroyed the South, winning against our South Division rivals with points scored of 41 (Tampa), 36 (Carolina), and 52 (New Orleans). With a defense that can get after the quarterback and destroy even the best in the game, (ask Brady why his last two Super Bowls were so unlike his usual games) this is by far a huge obstacle in any path to the playoff victories that have eluded Atlanta too long. Ryan has to get the offense back in rhythm. The team needs said confidence back, the focus and playoff execution that will be necessary to take the next step we have heard so much about the last eleven months after the last meeting with New York. The coaching staff will be put to test on how they handle the upcoming playoffs and redirect an out of character game last week.
Don’t need a sneaky tip toe into the post season – Atlanta needs a surge. A win against the playoff hunting Giants will start that Wave. This eleven win season has still been a roller coaster ride, but solid wins against Denver, at Washington, at Tampa and the last meeting with the Saints show how this team can roll. They need this very important in more ways than one game at home.
I’m wishing upon the northern star to be clinching my fist with joy like I was ten again come mid Sunday.