Every year there are games in the NFL that stick with us well into the offseason. Lets take a look at the Atlanta Falcons’ most memorable games of 2016.
Almost every Atlanta Falcons game this year has been somewhat entertaining and with 16 to choose from, it was hard to find the absolute best. I was able to come up with three of my favorites from 2016. Each was important and instrumental in how the Falcons played out the season.
As is the case with all of my 2016 reviews, let me know some of your favorites via comments or on Twitter.
Week 8 vs. Green Bay Packers
If you like offense, you enjoyed this one. The Dirty Birds came away with a thrilling, 33-32 victory, thanks to the Mohamed Sanu’s touchdown in the final seconds.
Aaron Rodgers was in a funk early in the season but came alive in the contest. Not to be out done, Matt Ryan also came out blazing and won the head-to-head of MVP favorites. The Packers are one team I do not want to face in the playoffs as they are the hottest team in the NFL that don’t play in Atlanta.
It felt like a playoff game and could very well end up a preview of the NFC Championship game.
Week 5 at Denver Broncos
The Atlanta Falcons came into the game 3-1, the Broncos 4-0, but both left the field at Mile High 4-1. The 23-16 victory was important for the Falcons as it served as a “signature” win. Atlanta began the season “hot” but didn’t seem all too special until they beat the reigning Super Bowl champions on the road.
A big theme of this game is that it served as Vic Beasley’s coming out party. He finished with 3.5 sacks and made life absolute hell for Paxton Lynch all afternoon. This was the first of many team wins for 2016. It may actually be the one game where the Falcons’ defense played just as well as the offense did.
Week 17 vs. New Orleans Saints
My last pick for the top games of 2016 is one that was from recent memory. The Falcons defeated their hated rivals, the New Orleans Saints, 38-32 in the regular season finale. The victory secured Atlanta the NFC’s 2nd seed, a first round playoff bye, and the NFC South for the first time since 2012. Additionally, the Falcons welcomed back several former players as part of the Georgia Dome’s final season festivities.
This game arguably carried the most weight in terms of what it meant to the team. Atlanta came out on fire, scoring touchdowns on their first five possessions. It was clear from the outset that these Falcons were different from the teams we had seen in recent years. The 2016 Falcons are for real and proved that the late-season collapse wasn’t going to happen again.
Dan Quinn’s Atlanta Falcons have become Super Bowl contenders.