I’m about to reveal a bias, something that’s admittedly not in my best interests as an NFL writer: I’ll be wildly cheering in support of the Falcons this weekend.
I’m not being selfish in doing so, and there’s no deeply-rooted personal motivation here. No, even though I may be drawing the devil’s fiery breath from the depths of Seattle, I’m willing to embrace that scorn to protect all of you. What do you need protection from, you ask? I’m not sure we, as organized, civil people, can withstand another offseason of hackneyed NFL panel-guy discussion about Matt Ryan’s inability to win “the big one”.
That will persist even if Julio Jones and Roddy White are stymied by Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman (quite possible). It’ll persist even if Michael Turner continues showing the speed of a snail that’s pushing another larger snail, that’s in turn inexplicably pushing another even much larger snail, forming a snail chain to nowhere. It’ll persist even if the Falcons’ 21st ranked run defense is gashed by Marshawn Lynch, the third-best rusher this season with 1,590 yards, and he had 132 yards on 20 carries last week against the Redskins with a touchdown (that’s 6.6 YPC, with the overall yardage a Seahawks’ post-season record).
All of those things are far out of Ryan’s control. All of them, and yet if the Falcons lose — and especially if they lose big — we’ll hear far more about said loss than we will the Seahawks’ win, and the fact that a team led by two rookies on either side of the ball (Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner) would then be one win away from the Super Bowl.
Sure, you could argue that the Falcons would deserve your hate, and you’re right. But after they were the most underwhelming 13-3 team in, well, forever, a loss this weekend wouldn’t be a surprise given the poor defensive matchups presented by the Seahawks. Instead, Seattle would deserve much more of your praise, but the blackness of blind Falcons hate will swallow your soul.
I can’t live in that world. Go Falcons.
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