Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cheaters Always Prosper

  • So the cheating cheats from Cheatsville won again. How nice for them.

  • The Atlanta Falcons. The Atlanta Falcons, man. They were up 28-3 late in the third quarter! They allowed three points the entire first half, then allowed 31 straight points to end the game!!! To them, I can only say:

  • No, no, I really do feel for Falcons fans. That must have hurt a lot. Seriously, it finally felt like your year! Nine years after taking Matt Ryan with the #3 pick in the draft, five years after trading away almost two drafts’ worth of picks for Julio Jones, after years of watching the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers make the playoffs, after years and years of being good but never really doing anything about it, you guys finally buckled down and took care of business. You marched through the season, steamrolling other teams to take your division. You earned your Wild Card bye. You dismissed the Seattle Seahawks without ceremony. You stomped on the Green Bay Packers. You made it, at last, to the Super Bowl. The entire country wanted you to win and had your back. You came out and knocked those reviled Patriots right in the mouth. You did this to their defense:

  • ...You got the rare Brady pick-six.

  • ...You came out on fire and took a 25-point second-half lead. And then -- you -- after all that -- you just -- I’m sorry! I can’t!
sad glee crying drama santana lopez

  • I just want you all to know that it was way worse for me because I KNEW THIS WAS COMING! Before the game, I thought Atlanta was going to win, but with about one minute left in the first half, with the Falcons up 21-0, I turned to my brother (he’s my witness!) in a panic and told him, “The Patriots are going to win!” He tried to soothe me, saying that Atlanta would score a bunch more points in the second half, but it was too late because I knew! I could feel it! I could feel the cliched articles being written. I could feel idiots across the country celebrating Brady “sticking it” to Roger Goodell. I could feel the “experience matters” tweets being prepared. I COULD FEEL IT AND THERE WAS NOTHING I COULD DO TO STOP IT.

  • Even as I cheered this absolutely incredible Julio Jones catch, my heart was ill at ease.

  • Because, sure enough, the Patriots had to one-up Julio.

  • There’s certainly blame enough to go around in Atlanta, but there were two HUGE plays that really cost the Falcons, and both saw a failure in protection. On a third-and-1 in the fourth quarter, Ryan dropped back to pass (even though running back Devonta Freeman had been averaging 8.2 yards a carry) and Freeman (maybe?) failed to pick up a rushing Dont'a Hightower, who sacked Ryan and forced a killer fumble midway through the fourth.
NFL football omg super bowl atlanta falcons

  • The second absolutely brutal play came with Atlanta up 28-20 with 3:50 left in regulation on the New England 23-yard line. Atlanta could have just kicked a field goal and all but sealed the game right there! Instead, after losing a yard on a first-down run, Ryan was sacked for a loss of 12 yards, pushing the Falcons to the edge of their kicker’s range. (Really? 50 yards is his limit? In a dome? Whatever.) A holding penalty on the next snap snuffed out the field goal hopes and Atlanta was forced to punt to New England.
NFL football atlanta falcons falcons super bowl 51

  • I’m not sure who takes the blame there: the offensive line for allowing the sack? Matt Ryan for not throwing the ball away? The offensive coordinator for not just running the darn ball in a game where Atlanta had been gaining most of their offense on the ground?

  • The last point is a huge issue the decision to pass got them sacked out of field goal range and the incompletions kept on stopping the clock. Not only did they come away with no points, but they gifted New England the extra time it so desperately needed!

  • That Atlanta found its early success running rather than throwing was actually the biggest surprise to me. (Since I could feel the bile of dread rising in my throat the entire game, the comeback wasn’t that much of a surprise.) The box score doesn’t really reflect this -- Atlanta and New England somehow both finished with 104 rushing yards??? -- but the Falcons were killing the Patriots in the run game the entire first half.

  • If I were a New England fan  -- well, if I were, I’d kill myself, but for the purpose of this football discussion, I’m going to continue the sentence -- I would have been horribly upset with the time management in the entire second half. Down three scores, the Patriots were still huddling up and moseying to the line. Things ended up working out for them, but they very well could have cost themselves the victory with their completely unhurried approach for the entire third and much of the fourth quarters.

  • Why is Matt Ryan’s face so gaunt? Doesn’t he get enough food?

  • Ugh this is all just so horrible! I’m so unhappy. The Patriots now have the most Super Bowl appearances. Tom Brady has the most Super Bowl wins among quarterbacks. Bill Belichick has the most Super Bowls for a coach. It’s all just so devastating. Because you know who are the only bigger ---------s than the New England Patriots players? Every single New England Patriots fan. 
angry oprah die oprah winfrey bad people

  • Next year’s Super Bowl will be held in Minneapolis. The Vikings have a dome, so lucky for the fans during the actual game, but have any of the people who made this decision ever actually been in Minnesota in February? The high today is 13 degrees. Without the windchill.

  • This article features 51 facts about Super Bowl 51, and it numbers them all in Roman numerals, except for #50. Did they think we’d all get thrown by “L”? Or that we wouldn’t be able to piece it together from the 50 other context clues we had?

  • I am soooooo sad about Teddy Bridgewater! The Minnesota Vikings’ QB blew out his knee in training camp this season, missing all of the 2016 season. Now, it’s being reported that he’s going to miss all of 2017 too, since the damage to his knee requires more than a year-and-a-half recovery period. Yes, of course, the Vikings are my mortal enemy, but how do you not feel bad for this kid? It would not be surprising for this injury to turn out to be career-ending, but I really, really hope that he’s able to come back in 2018 and play great. (Not too great, though. He is still a Viking.)

  • Minnesota fans must be extra depressed since that means another season of Sam Bradford. Sam Bradford’s probably not too excited about it, either.
"Pleeaaassee! Somebody help me! This isn't about
the game anymore! I don't want to die!"

  • The Pro Bowl was played, reportedly, though who knows because no one watched it. The final score was 20-13 AFC, which is really, really low considering that no defense was played. On that note, since the players don’t play defense, which I totally understand in the Pro Bowl, they should make it two-hand touch or something so that the offensive players have to actually try.

  • Speaking of trying, one player in the Pro Bowl did try, and I absolutely love him for it. Kirk Cousins, who is a free agent looking for a big payday, threw a pass that was tipped and intercepted. The intecepter returned it a ways, then lateraled it to a teammate, who was headed for the endzone when my man Cousins chased him down and stripped the ball! Now, Cousins’ team did not recover the fumble and that was pretty much the end of the game, but STILL! How do you not appreciate that man’s effort?

  • I watched the NFL Honors show so you didn’t have to. By far the best line of the night from host Keegan-Michael Key: “Dak and Zeke led the Dallas Cowboys to the NFC’s number one seed. And even though they’re both rookies, they looked like Cowboys veterans in the way they immediately lost in the playoffs.”  Hahahahahahaha it’s funny because it’s true.

  • Key also got a zing in on Green Bay: “The playoffs got really great ratings this year. For instance, the NFC Championship was watched by 46 million people -- and the Packers’ secondary.”
sad crying omfg i cant sobbing

  • Can someone tell me why the BLEEP Jerral Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Saying as, ya know, he never played in the NFL?
Maybe there'd be more room for guys like Terrell Owens if
we didn't include people who weren't in the NFL.

  • The best part of the NFL Honors was Jordy Nelson winning Comeback Player of the Year!!

  • Besides Packers winning, the other best part of these awards shows is getting to see Green Bay players all dressed up and looking dapper.
(I cropped out his fiancee.)

  • Some clever fans introduced us to Sideline Ninja’s non-superhero alter ego: Nerdy Jelson!

  • It was a roller coaster year for Green Bay. There were a lot of highs, but it eventually ended with disappointment. I feel good about 2017, though. It'll be our year! Till next season, Packers fans.

Monday, January 23, 2017

It Ends with a Whimper

  • So the Green Bay Packers lost to the Atlanta Falcons by 23 points in the NFC Championship … and it wasn’t even as close as the score suggests.
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  • From the opening moments, the Atlanta Falcons had their way. The Packers defense wasn’t even a speed bump to them. The Falcons’ own drops were the best defense of the game. I’ll make this quick, like ripping off a bandaid: Atlanta had 493 yards, six touchdowns, and no turnovers. They only punted twice the entire game. Matt Ryan completed 71% of his passes (really? Because it felt like at least 96%) and finished with a passer rating of 139.4.

  • I feel bad for ripping our absolutely dreadful defense because they were such a ragtag bunch. They were pretty much already on their third-string before losing Micah Hyde, Kentrell Brice, and Jake Ryan. (Who was even in secondary for them with Hyde and Brice down?? They were already playing out of position because of injuries.) I don’t have the heart to condemn players who were just out-talented by the Falcons’ top-ranked offense. 
Yes, he dropped this interception.

  • The injuries hit the offensive line hard, too. The Packers lost Lane Taylor (knee), TJ Lang (foot), and Bryan Bulaga (concussion). In the final series, the Packers only had four offensive linemen, and nose tackle Letroy Guion had to come in and play right guard, with the other linemen telling him what to do as the play unfolded. So that was depressing.
sad arrested development depressed will arnett gob bluth

  • Poor TJ Lang! The guard, who broke his foot earlier in the season, missed several weeks, came back, played great, and earned his first Pro Bowl honor, broke the same foot on Sunday. Fortunately it was not a more serious injury, considering that he’s now a free agent, but that's still a rough time to get hurt. 

  • The Green Bay defense was numbing to watch, but it’s not as if the offense did much with the few opportunities they had. Unfortunately, it’s tough to find a rhythm when you’re only on the field for 10 minutes in the entire first half. Seriously, the worst approach to playing the best offense in the league? Give them a two-to-one advantage in time of possession.
Dropping passes also did not help.

  • Look, I certainly am not shocked by Atlanta winning. That seemed like a very likely outcome going in. But watching the Pack get shut out in the first half? It was all a horrible nightmare. I couldn't believe my eyes. 

  • Then giving myself a pep talk all during halftime, telling myself the Packers could turn this around, only to watch Green Bay start the second half with a three-and-out and then allow a 73-yard touchdown within the first 70 seconds:
kim kardashian kanye west kim smh no way

  • And slowly accepting that was literally nothing Green Bay could do to stop the bleeding:

  • The problem with a team like the Falcons is just a couple of errors, and the dominoes start to fall -- fast. It became abundantly clear fairly early on that Atlanta was going to be scoring on every single possession. The hope was to get the ball in Aaron Rodgers’ hands as much as possible and try to limit the Falcons to field goals on at least a few of their drives. The wheels came off almost immediately, however: the Falcons scored on the opening possession, the Packers missed a field goal, the Falcons made a field goal, and the Packers fumbled just outside the redzone. Instead of 10-10, it was 10-0, and when the Falcons scored a touchdown on their next play, the floodgates were opened.

  • I really feel bad for all my Packers and I don’t want to kick anyone when he’s down and we win as a team, lose as a team, and all that, but if there’s one person who maybe I feel just the slightest bit tempted to heap blame upon, I’m looking at you, Rip. That fumble was killer. In so many ways. You just can’t do that in a conference championship, Yukon!

  • The biggest surprise to me besides, ya know, getting blown out of the water, was Atlanta’s pass rush. Though they have some real playmakers -- including sack leader Vic Beasley Jr. -- the Packers’ offensive line has been so impressive in pass coverage, I really wasn’t worried. The Falcons got pressure on Rodgers all day long, though, while also keeping him in the pocket, which few other teams have been able to do.

  • The saddest part is that such a beatdown ruins the magic feeling of the season. If it had been a close, heartbreaking loss, we could all find solace in the incredible effort of the team, how many injuries they fought through, how they won eight straight games, how they started 4-6 and still ended up just one game from the Super Bowl. It was a crazy season with so many unbelievable plays and comebacks and wins! But alas, the ignominious exit mars that.

  • Atlanta’s head coach Dan Quinn must be part robot. He barely reacted to the Gatorade shower at all!
In his defense, he did slightly raise his eyebrows about 15 seconds after this.

  • There was only one small glimmer of joy this week and that was Jordy being an absolute beast and braving two broken ribs to play. He had six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown, but you can’t quantify his toughness.

  • He had to wear kevlar padding to protect his ribs, but that still didn't stop him from playing. 
What a man.

  • Sigh. All in all, I’m handling things well.
filmeditor the exorcist linda blair numb regan

  • It was a very impressive final four for the NFL.

  • Seattle Seahawks corner Richard Sherman played the second half of the season with an MCL injury, which is impressive, but also confusing, because aren’t NFL teams required to list injuries on their weekly injury report? When asked why this information had not been announced, head coach Pete Carroll responded “I don’t know,” and “Honestly, I didn’t even realized we hadn’t revealed it.” (Hmm, which is it?) Anyway, I believe Pete. His shining character and forthrightness have certainly earned him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think he’d do anything underhanded or illegal to gain an advantage over an opponent. 

  • The poor Pittsburgh Steelers got run over by the New England Patriots. Their worst fears were realized when Le’Veon Bell left the game in the first quarter with a groin injury. From there, the game got out of hand quick and New England cruised to an easy 36-17 win.

  • It was cold during the game, what with it being January in New England and all, but luckily Tom Brady was able to keep warm on the sideline by sitting inside a tent. (This is not photoshopped.)

There's obviously some cheating going on in there. He's get PED
injections or deflating footballs or having the purified blood
of small children put into him.

  • The playoffs have not been great entertainment for neutral fans. Aside from the Packers-Cowboys thriller and the Steelers-Chiefs game in the divisional round, all the playoff games have been decided by 13 points or more.

  • I don’t usually like to cheer for teams that crush all my dreams, but I am happy for Atlanta. I like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, and Quinn's done a great job with the defense. They’ve been good for awhile, but never could get things to click on all cylinders before. Plus, the franchise has never won a Super Bowl. And the New England Patriots are the worst, so I’ll definitely be rooting for the Falcons. 

  • The main thing we don’t want is those cheating cheats up in New England to cheat their way to another championship. We as a country are pretty divided right now after a contentious election season, but I think the one thing that can bring us all together again is root against the Patriots. Even if you’re on the fence about the cheating cheats, just imagine how awful all the Patriots fans squawking about Deflategate and Tom Brady in their monstrous accents for months will be if they win. 

Image result for patriots cheaters
Who would you rather listen to all offseason: Patriots fans celebrating being
cheating cheats? Or happy Falcons fans celebrating their first-ever Super Bowl win?

  • It's tough to face the end of the Packers season, but at least we went farther than the Dallas Cowboys, and at least we ripped out their heart and stomped on it a few times. It means it wasn’t a totally wasted season.
green bay packers packers aaron rodgers jordy nelson chivsgb

Monday, January 16, 2017

No Time to Gloat; On to Atlanta!

  • Totally kidding. Of course there's time to gloat. That's what this entire post is going to be.

  • When asked what he was thinking when the Dallas Cowboys tied the game with 35 seconds left, Aaron Rodgers responded: “A little too much time on the clock.” Hahahahahahaha! Sorry, Cowboys, not this year!
green bay packers packers aaron rodgers clay matthews should be on barneys get psyched mix

  • AAAAAAHHHHHHH that was so stressful! And awesome! Any last-second Green Bay Packers victory in a playoff game is incredible, but it’s just so much sweeter that it came against the Cowboys
jason alexander

  • I don’t even know where to start! Let’s start at the very end, with Mason Crosby nailing a 51-yarder for the victory. And just a few minutes after kicking a 56-yarder to take the lead. He actually had to kick the 51-yard field goal twice, as Dallas stupidly tried to ice him. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you don’t ice Mason Crosby. 
"I play games on the field, not up here."

  • Here’s the kick set to “My Heart Will Go On.” Some funny people have realized that every sports moment sounds epic with this score in the background, and they’re right.

  • Let’s backtrack to that 35-second mark. Dallas has just tied it up, the Packers have the ball and two timeouts. I had been horribly nervous and upset in the fourth quarter as the Packers squandered their lead (I knew the Dallas comeback was coming, and I knew the Packers defense wasn’t going to be able to do much about it), but the crazy thing when Aaron Rodgers is your quarterback is that situations like these seem eminently doable. I knew we weren’t going to overtime. It was nice to have overtime as a fallback, but I knew we weren’t going to overtime. Even after the first incompletion. Even after Rodgers was sacked with 23 seconds left. Even after another incompletion. Then, with the clock down to 12 (COINCIDENCE? I THINK NOT), Rodgers takes the snap, almost immediately spins left out of the pocket, buys time, buys time, and then hits tight end Jared Cook on this insane throw and catch!! This is about when I lost my mind. (Look at Rodgers on the replay trying to will Cook into keeping his toes in.)

  • Cook has really been huge for the Packers. Having that big target really changes the way defenses have been covering the Packers, and it’s clear to see how Rodgers relies on him. On that last drive, every attempt was to Cook. Crazy what having an actual tight end can do, huh?

  • Now that I’ve taken a veiled swipe at Richard Rodgers, I do have to give him props for his nice play on Green Bay’s first touchdown. On a free play, the ball actually went through the defender’s arms and Rodgers was still able to keep focus on it for the catch. Nice job.

  • One of the thing that bothers me about R. Rodgers -- besides being super slow and klutzy and an embarrassingly bad blocker -- is that he always has a dopey grin on his face, even if he’s just messed up a huge play. He’s always smiling this odd dreamy smile. And I do mean always. Here he is on his touchdown reception:
Yep, still smiling.

  • The Packers defense had a few rough spots -- and losing Morgan Burnett to a quad injury didn’t help (seriously, that’s bad news. We need him for Atlanta.) -- but they also had a bright spot or two. Defensive MVP of the game was clearly Micah Hyde, who had an early sack and a beautiful pass break-up in the first half. His best play, though, was this textbook read and interception off of Dak Prescott. He anticipated this so quickly that the ball’s almost behind him when he picks it off!

  • It was fun to hear Hyde break down the play afterwards. He knew what was coming pre-snap, but didn’t want to leave the corner, LaDarius Gunter, out to dry if the Cowboys ended up adjusting -- Gunter would have been left to cover two receivers by himself. Gunter, however, saw the same thing pre-snap and knew what Hyde was thinking. He told Hyde, “Go get it.” And Micah did.

  • I desperately missed my Jordy during the game, of course, but I was pleased to see his sideline prowess alive and well not only on Cook’s game-saving play, but with Green Eyes, too. (The full highlight is even more impressive.)

  • Aaron Rodgers threw his first interception in 318 passes on Sunday (only 17 passes off the record!), which is just madness. Another way to look at it? Aaron Rodgers threw 24 touchdowns in between interceptions. That’s as many touchdown passes as Dak Prescott threw all season. And that's no knock on Dak; just perspective on how good Rodgers has been.

  • There were some low-key MVPs I would like to recognize.
    • First, Aaron Rodgers not fumbling on that sack with 18 seconds left. No idea how he hung on. 
    • Second, the sideline judge who overruled the head judge on the Cook catch.
    • Finally, Jason Garrett/Dak Prescott for clocking the ball on a first down with 1:07 left, thereby wasting a down instead of using their timeout.
NFL football dallas cowboys cowboys coach

  • I don’t like to kick a team when it’s down, but it’s the Dallas Cowboys we’re talking about, so you can sure bet I’m going to do it. The Cowboys played fantastic all season and should be credited for it. However, it seems that they benefitted from playing a lot of really bad teams, too. Below are the final season offensive rankings for all the teams the Cowboys played (by points scored). Aside from the Packers (who were certainly not #4 at the time they played) and the Steelers, none of the teams Dallas played are even in the top ten offensively. Just saying.
      • 11-5 Giants – 26th (played twice, lost twice)
      • 8-7-1 Redskins – 12th (played twice)
      • 3-13 Bears – 28th
      • 2-14 Niners – 27th
      • 6-9-1 Bengals – 24th
      • 10-6 Packers – 4th
      • 7-9 Eagles -16th (played twice, lost once)
      • 1-15 Browns – 31st
      • 11-5 Steelers – 10th
      • 8-8 Ravens – 21st 
      • 8-8 Vikings – 23rd
      • 9-7 Buccaneers – 18th
      • 9-7 Lions – 20th 

  • Man, what a game. It’s hard not to celebrate too much and revel in the salty, salty tears of all of the Cowboys’ bandwaggoning fans, but the Packers still have a lot of work to do. GO PACK GO!

  • This space was to be used to talk about the New England Patriots-Houston Texans game, but one team’s quarterback is Tom Brady and the other’s is Brock Osweiler. How do you think it went? 

  • The new Los Angeles Chargers’ logo is awful. It looks like a Chinese symbol meets an italicized hashtag meets a broken fence meets a corporation called “4A.”

Image result for la chargers
They shall henceforth be known as the "4A Chargers." (At least to me.)

  • Some people noticed a slight resmblance between the 4A Chargers’ logo and the Los Angeles Dodgers' logo.

Image result for la chargers

  • I’ve spoken up before for Troy Aikman and Joe Buck -- I really do not understand why so many people hate them! They are so much better than absolutely everyone except for the Sunday Night Football crew. The vitriol toward them is especially weird coming from Packers fan, tens of thousands of whom have signed a petition to get Aikman and Buck banned from calling Packers game. Fans apparently think that the two are biased when it comes to Green Bay, and they’re absolutely right, because Aikman and Buck don’t even try to hide how much they love the Packers. Have either of them said a bad word about Aaron Rodgers? I mean, ever? Have they ever gone an entire game without congratulating Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy for their success? How often to they bring up the fans and the town and how unique the Green Bay team’s relationship with the community is? If other teams’ fans were signing that petition, that’d make sense, because they’re probably sick of hearing Aikman and Buck gush over the Packers. So bizarre.

  • I really hate Pete Carroll. His teams are full of @$$holes and loudmouths. They’re dirty, cheap players and sore losers. The second the game gets out of hand for them, you can put money in the bank that they’re going to start taking cheapshots and trying to injure opponents. It’s one of their hallmarks, and given how consistent it is, I’ll lay the blame for that at the feet of the Robber Baron himself.
war seattle seahawks 911 would pete

  • Here’s Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett chewing out a reporter after the game who had the nerve to suggest that the Seahawks defense didn't get as much pressure on Atlanta QB Matt Ryan -- who threw for over 300 yards -- as they were perhaps hoping to:

  • And here’s injured Seattle safety Earl Thomas going after a team they weren’t even playing:

  • Keep in mind that the Seattle Seahawks play in the same division as the 2-14 San Francisco 49ers and the 4-12 Los Angeles Rams. Next best after Seattle was the 7-8 Arizona Cardinals. So why don’t you just focus on healing up, Earl?

  • Despite the close 18-16 score in the Pittsburgh Steelers-Kansas City Chiefs game, the Steelers really controlled nearly the entire game by controlling the clock. The Chiefs had a 4:54 drive in the third quarter (resulted in a punt) and a final drive of 7:06 (resulted in a touchdown). Other than that, the Chiefs averaged less than two minutes per drive.

  • About that last touchdown. Down eight with 2:43 left in the game, the Chiefs scored and elected to go for the two-point attempt to tie the game. And they made it!! Buuuuuut, the play was called back by a hold on the left tackle. The re-attempt failed and that was your final score: 18-16 Pittsburgh.

  • As you might imagine, the Chiefs were not happy with the holding call. (I think it was the right call and no, I don’t think “a hold could be called on every play!” is a strong argument for not calling this one.) After the game, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce went off on the ref, saying the call was "horse$#!+, flat-out" and "ignorance." He said the ref "shouldn’t be able to wear a zebra jersey ever again. He shouldn’t even be able to work at $#^%ing Foot Locker.”

  • A couple of things for Kelce: 1) That was a hold, so quit complaining about the ref and saying James Harrison just fell down. The issue is you don’t think a hold should be called in that important of a situation. That’s different than saying the ref made up the call. 2) “We try to play this game with integrity,” Kelce says. Hmm, yes, tell me more about your integrity, Travis.

  • I really don’t care about the Steelers or the Chiefs, and I do think the hold was a good call, but I also kinda feel like you don’t deserve to win if you can’t manage a single touchdown. I certainly don’t want to run down kickers after what Mason Crosby just did for my life, but all 18 of Pittsburgh’s points came off the leg of kicker Chris Boswell.
Lifetime Telly dance moms unimpressed abby lee miller not impressed

  • The NFL is all about player safety, you know. That’s why they have independent neurologists right on the field to examine players after big hits and evaluate them for concussions. It’s really great for the players, like Chris Conley, who was put back in the game one play after taking this hit:

  • I know that the Kansas City Chiefs were the technical favorites in the game, but c’mon, who’s afraid of the Kansas City Chiefs? They could go 16-0, and no one would ever even pick them to go to the Super Bowl.

  • You know who I used to feel that way about? The Atlanta Falcons. For so many years, I’d be really impressed with Matt Ryan and the Falcons, only to have them goose-egg in a huge game or miss the playoffs in a weak division. So somewhere about two or three seasons ago, I told myself I was going to stop falling for Atlanta’s hey-look-we’re-a-contender routine because I’d just seen it one too many times before. I genuinely have felt bad for their fans for a while because it must suck to have a super talented team that you have absolutely no faith in. Even earlier this season, as they got blazing hot once again, I had to remind myself not to forget that they always disappoint:

  • But now? Maybe now’s the season they finally figure it out? With Matt Ryan as the MVP frontrunner and an offense that scores more points than any other team, they’re looking, well, scary, to a team like Green Bay, whose glaring weakness is their pass defense. Matt Ryan’s probably looking at our defense like:
NFL football atlanta falcons falcons matt ryan

  • Not so fast, Matty Ice. This means your defense has to go up against Aaron Rodgers.

  • Atlanta may very well be the toughest matchup for Green Bay, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the game. Reasons #1-19 all rhyme with Taron Todgers, but our defense has also had some good moments throughout the year and have come up with big stops with games on the line. The Packers played the Falcons very, very close this year, losing a heartbreaker by one point, and the Packers are a much better team now than they were in Week 8. (The Falcons, for their part, didn’t have their #1 receiver for much of the game, but never mind that.) Green Bay’s best defense will probably be keeping their own offense on the field and keeping Ryan & Co. sidelined. It’ll be a tough game, but I BEEELIIIEEEVE!

  • And there’s a chance we get this guy back.