Falcons head to the Postseason after knocking off Panthers

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Keanu Neal /

Atlanta Falcons waited until the final game of the season to punch their ticket, but they are officially headed to the playoffs.

After all the inconsistency throughout the season, the Atlanta Falcons are headed back to the postseason. With their season on the line, in a Win and In game, the Falcons took care of business and knocked off the Carolina Panthers 22-10.

Though it was an ugly game, the Falcons made just enough plays, while shutting down Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton at the same time, to win the game.

The game got going with a 75 yard Falcons drive that ended with a 19 yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Devonta Freeman. The Falcons didn’t score another touchdown for the rest of the game, but the man who has made so many clutch kicks for the Falcons stepped up and kicked the Falcons to a victory and the postseason.

Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant was a perfect 5/5 throughout the day, including a clutch 56 yard field goal, that basically put the game out of reach for Carolina.

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The Falcons defense arguably played their best game of the season. The Falcons shut down the Panthers holding them to 248 yards of offense and slowing down Newton. The Panthers quarterback completed 14/34 passes for a touchdown and 3 interceptions, finishing with a QB rating of 31.5.

What’s next for the Falcons?

The Falcons are going to the postseason, the only team to return in the NFC from the 2016 season.

After a season in which they tried to release the demons after the heartbreaking Super Bowl loss, they have a chance to get back to the big game and play in Minneapolis in February.

It will be tougher to get back there. The Falcons will have to play 3 straight road games starting with Saturday’s wild card match up against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Falcons are not the dominant team that they were in 2016. They have won many ugly games this year and some at the last second. However, if there is anything that I’ve learned in watching many NFL games it’s that a lot of close wins can make a team mentally tough.

With an improved defense and an offense that is capable of putting up points, the Falcons can be a dangerous team that nobody wants to play this postseason.

Next: Atlanta Falcons: Playoff bound following crazy season

Sunday could be the start of another magical run.