On The Rise: Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Bryant, Special Teams Help Breathe Hope In Playoffs

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 18: Kicker Matt Bryant (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 18: Kicker Matt Bryant (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

While providing a breath of hope to their team against the Rams, Matt Bryant and the Atlanta Falcons special teams unit helped those with cystic fibrosis.

The odds were against the Atlanta Falcons entering Saturday’s wild-card game versus the Los Angeles Rams. They faced the League’s highest-scoring offense. An offense that’s undefeated when MVP-candidate Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley rushes for more than 100 yards. On the road.

Yet, the Atlanta Falcons didn’t lose hope. Perhaps realizing that they’re in control of their destiny was enough to keep their hope of a Super Bowl championship alive as they entered Saturday’s game. But, Matt Bryant’s four field goals and two special teams turnovers, from which the team capitalized, certainly gave the Falcons an added breath of hope.

Related: Catching Up With Former New York Giants’ Super Bowl Champion Shaun O’Hara

Bryant’s field goals also helped provide hope and support for those effected by cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening, genetic disease in which a defective gene causes a thick buildup of mucus in the lungs which leads to persistent lung infections and progressively limits the patient’s ability to breathe.

In fact, every kicker’s field goals did, as Barbasol, a corporate sponsor of Westwood One’s radio broadcasts of Saturday’s game, pledges to make a donation to the Boomer Esiason Foundation for every field goal made in the postseason.

The Foundation, founded by former NFL quarterback and current NFL commentator Esiason (who has a son with cystic fibrosis and appears regularly on Westwood One’s radio broadcasts) aims to:

"“heighten awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis, while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure.”"

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About 30,000 people are living with cystic fibrosis in the United States with approximately 1,000 new cases of CF being diagnosed each year.

Sadder than the fact that the average life expectancy for the illness is 37.5 years old is that cystic fibrosis receives no government funding for research, making the funds raised by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and others all the more important.

The Atlanta Falcons are very much alive in their hunt for a Super Bowl championship thanks to the team’s 26-13 win over the Los Angeles Rams. And what a team win it was with all units rising up to the occasion and bringing the Falcons one step closer to the big game! Better yet, it was a win that also helps bring us closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis, providing a breath of hope for thousands.

Next: Atlanta Falcons Defense Primed For Super Bowl Run

To learn more, rise up and join in on the team effort to kick cystic fibrosis to the road, click here.