Well that weekend went a little different than a lot of people thought. I still thought Atlanta would win, but not in that fashion. The same goes for the AFC match-up, pretty damn one-sided. However, I kind of viewed both games as statement games, as stupid as that sounds.
Falcons 44 Packers 21
While this looks bad on paper, it was even worse live. The Falcons were up 24-0 at halftime, and despite the Packers putting up 15 in the 3rd quarter, the Falcons kept pace putting up 13 of their own (box score below). This was the Falcons putting all the naysayers on notice, but now they’ll have their biggest challenge in the Superbowl, but this ain’t the Dirty Birds.
This is a focused team, with a common goal. Julio Jones was a damn beast, but once again Matt Ryan spread the ball around. The only concern was they fumbled twice, but recovered both. The big take away was their Defense showed up. Rodgers still got over 350 yards, but the Falcons Defense came out strong and allowed the Offense to put up a nice lead. Although, holding the Packers Offense to three TDs is still good.
Patriots 36 Steelers 17
I can’t say this one was shocking. I’m still not sure if the Steelers just looked better because they faced a backup QB-led Wild Card team, and a team that’s had trouble winning in the playoffs, or if they just had a bad game? Losing Le’Veon Bell was a blow, but the way their Offensive Line and Defense has played in the last two months has been insane.
This one was a bit closer at halftime, 17-9 (see below), but the Patriots put this one out of reach in the 3rd quarter. Roethlisberger did look solid though, with his Receivers dropping a few sure things, which has to be frustrating. However, the Patriots Defense continues to come up with big plays, especially that goal line stand to end the first half.
From what I saw, and heard, it seemed more like a combination of a determined Patriots teams and the Steelers not playing up to their potential. Everyone likes to talk about Aaron Rodgers spreading the ball around, but look at a list of Tom Brady’s Receivers sometime. For every Gronk, there’s three guys who signed huge Free Agent contracts somewhere else and did nothing. Chris Hogan put up 180 Receiving Yards and two TDs in this one. He does it again.
This sets up an interesting Superbowl match-up. Obviously the Patriots will be favorites because of their history and their coach, oh and some dude named Brady. However, I’m not sure you should count out the Falcons. While the Packers are not the Patriots, they destroyed them. They’ve looked great, and if any team has the “No One Believes In Us” card, it’s Atlanta. Plus they’ll be playing indoors, which I don’t think that’s a tactical advantage, but I think it makes them a bit more comfortable. But that’s a novice, idiot’s opinion. We shall see how it goes!
For anyone who read this, or read the others this season, thank you. These were my least read/looked at posts. However, I owed it to myself to finish out the season, as you never know what the outcome will be. I’m not 100% sure I will continue these next season, or try something else when it comes to sports.
The issue is everyone and their cousin does something like this. I think I have to take a different approach to sports, and stories, which I will be fooling around with now. Find stuff that maybe isn’t getting a ton of attention, or is noteworthy that’s not just Xs and Os. I started doing these because I like finding the strategy and tactics of a sport, so we’ll see if maybe I can expand on that.
Either way, thank you for reading these if you did!