Bayou Correspondent, White Cover Magazine
Despite all their efforts to pull off another heartbreaking loss in front of their home crowd, the Atlanta Falcons actually won a playoff game on Sunday afternoon.
It was an emotional roller coaster for fans in attendance, all of whom assumed that their Falcons actually wanted to advance to the NFC Championship game. They watched Matt Ryan and Co. unleash an all-out aerial and ground-based assault on the Seattle Seahawks in the first half, only to realize that their Falcons — including Roddy White, Julio Jones, and head coach Mike Smith — were simply trying to offset Vegas odds for the second half.
Atlanta’s kicker Matt Bryant actually tried to lose the game with 12 seconds to go when he shanked a field goal wide right. Unfortunately, Pete Carroll called a timeout and gave Bryant a second chance to miss.
It was almost too little too late, but some of the Falcons’ accidental win was actually genuine. 16-year veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez got his first-ever playoff win on Sunday. He was also the only one in the Falcons depth chart who was unaware they were trying to lose.
“After 16 games, never winning a playoff game, I’ve never cried after a win,” he said in a rather typical Oprah‘ish moment. “I was thinking, Here it goes it again. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I’m just so proud of our guys.”
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan appeared to embrace Seattle’s rookie pivot Russell Wilson after the game. A transcript of the conversation is not yet available, but it can only be assumed Ryan told the youngster he was disappointed he still had to play next weekend, especially because he has season tickets for the Hawks and hasn’t been able to enjoy them yet.
Wilson finished with a game-high 365 yards passing with two touchdowns, and also ran for a touchdown and 60 yards on the ground.
He threw a game-ending interception on a Hail Mary as the clock hit 00:00 — his only blemish on the day.
Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones actually tried to keep the ball up in the air instead of knocking it down, but ended up catching it.
“I’d by lying to you if I thought we were going to be able to pull that one out,” said Gonazlez, “but I’m so glad we did.”
*After his strong play on Sunday, it’s rumoured Gonzalez will not be in the lineup when the Falcons play San Francisco next weekend.