This could have ended a lot differently, and this probably should have ended a lot differently. When a mostly fast, mostly up-tempo, mostly vertical team tries to revert to being conservative, generally what they’re asking for is then received.
As I type this Jacquizz Rodgers just had a solid return to about the 35 yard-line, and with two timeouts and 25 seconds left, some Matt Ryan heroics are definitely possible (and as I typed THAT, he completed a 22-yard pass to Harry Douglas, and then a 19 yarder to Tony Gonzalez…YOU GUYS).
For now, this could be the thing that keeps the Falcons narrative going.
UPDATE: Those two long completions led to a 49-yard field goal by Matt Bryant. Thanks for saving us from another offseason of hearing how much Ryan can’t win in the playoffs.
We’ll have more reactionary words shortly as I attempt to make sense of a game in which a horribly botched squib kick by Bryant gave the Seahawks a chance to heave one into the end zone as time expired. If Russell Wilson’s prayer was answered, it would have been the third lead change in the final two minutes.
This explains why Pete Carroll went for it on fourth and one from the Falcons’ 11 yard-line, and did it on a run up the middle that was stuffed, right after another run up the middle that was stuffed. And neither of those carries were given to Marshawn Lynch.
Never underestimate the power of black bird voodoo.
Marshawn Lynch is a large man who can run really fast and hurt you when his sizable girth gains momentum. It’s science.
But the whole holding on to the ball deal during the most important game(s) of the year is still an elusive skill. On the Seahawks’ second possession after a Bobby Wagner interception, Lynch put the ball on the ground. It’s his second straight week with a lost fumble, and his seventh fumble overall this season.
It was also Lynch’s second fumble over his 46 career playoff carries.
The solution? Duct tape and a drunk dad, usually.
Also, this is definitely illegal. So well played, referee…