Falcons DVD Key

By Zack Cimini

Truth is a defining testament of sixty minutes of football played on the field. The drama of wild card weekend was wild in itself, but the true warriors didn?t let that affect their mindset for round two. All of the teams that had byes proved they were the better team, with statement wins. In fact Pittsburgh was the only team that was threatened by an opponent. They?ll need to get Ben Roethlisberger to regroup quickly or they will be dismantled by the Patriots defense. They defied all reasoning by shutting down Peyton Manning once again, and it looks like there will be no detour on their way to the Super Bowl.

Atlanta did what all teams are able to do successfully against the Rams, and that is jump on them early. They allowed 200 yards rushing in the first half alone, and seemingly couldn?t figure out how to attack the run. The sole purpose of the Rams brining nine men up to the line of scrimmage was to force Michael Vick to have to use his vertical passing skills. Well, the Falcons weren?t about to settle for that until the Rams could stop the run, and they simply couldn?t do it. Atlanta?s offensive line was destroying the Rams defensive line at the point of attack, and many times left TJ Duckett or Warrick Dunn roaming untouched fifteen to twenty yards down the field.

Looking back at when the Rams started falling apart, was when they weren?t able to use Stephen Jackson. Early on in the game he was giving the Rams a balanced attack, and was the key to setting up Torry Holt?s twenty eight yard touchdown. As soon as the Falcons got back on the field though the offense went straight back to work. Mike Martz isn?t a patient man with his offense, and from then on threw out the idea of a ground game. When you?re one dimensional it makes it simple for a defensive coordinator to figure out what to do, and that means blitzes coming from all directions.

Marc Bulger was nearly killed on the field, because the Falcons knew they were going to throw every time. If I were vice president of operations for the Rams I would add a few players to the defense, and fix the special teams problem. They ranked last or second to last in punt and kick return coverage, and the punt return they gave up near the end of the second quarter corralled the Rams hopes.

It was exciting to see two 8-8 teams win in the wild card round for the first time in NFL history, but the indication of a weak NFC was relevant over the weekend. Atlanta and Philadelphia looked like they were playing a tune up preseason football game right before the regular season. Now is the real show in which they will battle each other.

Donovan McNabb?s facial expression and tone in his voice hasn?t changed all year long, and no athlete has been more devoted to improving each year than he has. This will be the fourth straight year he has got his Eagles to the NFC championship, and he knows this opportunity could be his last. He defied critics when he was picked second in the draft, and has been shooting them down each year he has been in the league. Where are Cade McNown, Tim Couch, Akili Smith, and Daunte Culpepper? The only answer that matters is that they all don?t have a dab of the credentials McNabb has to his resume.

In the AFC the Patriots are still the goliath of the NFL. If they are able to win another Super Bowl, they have to go down as one of the top dynasties in NFL history. With the way the NFL is setup today with free agency, no one thought a team would be able to do this again.

Pittsburgh gave the Jets many chances to win but the Jets just didn?t want it enough. Roethlisberger got away with one, and needs to know that type of performance will get him tore to shreds by the Patriots. It?ll definitely be a game decided by defense and the running game, so that plays in the Steelers hands since they led the league in rushing.


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