Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) injures his shoulder during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Georgia Dome. The 49ers defeated the Falcons 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
I am going to say it, whether people like it or not. The Falcons did not deserve to win that game. There, I said it.
Whether they deserved to win or not, they put up a hell of a fight. They were 4.5 point underdogs. (I, personally, thought the line was horrific and embarrassing for the city of Atlanta. If you wish to see me rampage about that, click here, and it will take you to my last article on the prediction for the NFC Championship game). While they put up a fight, a fight doesn’t get you into the Super Bowl. The only thing that gets you into the Super Bowl is winning, which they failed to do.
So who is at fault for this loss?
Many people are going to point the finger at Matt Ryan. How can you do that? Sure, he had two turnovers. Both of which were his fault. Every one is human, and I did not expect a flawless game going against that San Francisco defense. He actually had a great game in my opinion. He was only 4 yards short of 400 yards passing on the day, and he connected for three touchdowns. Oh, he also had one of the best throws he has ever thrown. Add on top of that that he led the team down field on the final drive, sprained his ACL in his left shoulder, and toughed it out and played like a man.
Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) makes a touchdown catch against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown (25) during the second quarter of the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
If it wasn’t Ryan, you must say it was the defense. Yet again, I disagree. I appreciate that they only let up 28 points. The 49ers could have easily scored 42 points. They surprisingly satisfied my expectations. That defense somehow helped out Matt Ryan by not allowing any points off of his two turnovers. I am proud of our defense this weekend.
What is left? How about the run game?
A stat that says it all is the total amount of rushing yards that the running game had. 81 yards. I will let that sink in. Between Matt Ryan, Jacquizz Rodgers, Michael Turner, and Jason Snelling, the team totaled 81 yards. That is down right pathetic. How can you expect Matt Ryan to do anything when all the 49ers had to focus on was the pass. I know I would not have been concerned with the run game if I were the 49ers.
But the past is now the past. I hope that next year I will be doing a wrap up article on the NFC Championship, but it is looking to see how they won the game. Also, at least we don’t have Mark Sanchez…