We enter into the playoffs with a bye week, which is great for resting players like All-Pro Vic Beas(t)ley, shady receiver Taylor Gabriel, and any other walking wounded. The main stumbling blocks for any NFC team, according to the experts, are deemed to be Green Bay and Dallas, both of whom are definitely very stacked teams, and one has to remember that the Packers started out very poorly this season and are coming in RED-HOT! Another team people seem to be pre-occupied with are the New York Giants.
I kind of understand that, but in reality, I think Eli Manning is a turnover king when the chips are down, and I think any matchup they have against one another I would lean towards trusting Aaron Rodgers under center. How awesome is it that these two teams get to beat each other up in the first weekend action of the playoffs?
So, according to the experts, this leaves Dallas as Atlanta's main hurdle towards facing Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers (you heard it here first!) for the Super Bowl!
I do not profess to be a bracket expert, but the way I see it, Seattle looks to be the next opponent, as Dallas will face the lowest-ranked team left, which should be the winner of GB/NYG. Detroit winning would be the only way to guarantee a matchup that doesn't favour the Falcons.
I'm betting on a balanced attack, with a lot of running through the middle 30 minutes of the game. Balance that with some spread out passing and Julio Jones will find at least two plays that go for big yards. I love Sanu and Gabriel as options, and if the Offensive Line can keep Matt Ryan safe through the early goings, there is no reason to really fear anyone but Green Bay as a potential opponent. For all that the Giants have to offer on defence, as well as their OBJ factor, I think the two matchup well enough to suggest the running game will decide things. Give me Freeman and Coleman any day on or against any team in the NFL!
Anyway, I'm sure all us Falcons' fans are sitting around waiting to see who we have to get past to see another NFC Championship game, but rest assured that the field will thin itself out before we even get the beak wet!