Keidel: Falcons Lack Playoff Pedigree, But Not Super Bowl-Caliber Talent

By Jason Keidel
» Extra Columns

With three iconic golf equipment within the NFL’s last 4, there’s a misplaced, gridiron stepchild enjoying Sunday.

Regardless of Pittsburgh’s massive three (Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown), Inexperienced Bay’s terminator quarterback (Aaron Rodgers), and New England inching towards their fifth Tremendous Bowl title this younger century, none of them have the weekend’s most potent offense.

That belongs to the Atlanta Falcons, who’ve flown properly above the radar, if we paid any consideration. The Falcons virtually lapped the league in scoring, averaging 33.eight factors per recreation this season. For all of the speak about Rodgers, Brady and Massive Ben, it was Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan who put up probably the most pyrotechnic numbers, properly worthy of NFL MVP consideration.

Ryan led the league in complete QBR (eighty three.three), passer score (117.1) and yards per try (9.26). He was second in passing touchdowns (38), yards per recreation (309) and complete yards (four,944). There’s extra, however this must be proof that Ryan unfold the ball like butter throughout the stat sheet. Because the world turns into more and more tethered to numbers — and if we will by some means ignore Rodgers’ bionic playoff efficiency — Ryan is your league MVP.

And in case you marvel why a protection as seasoned as Seattle’s couldn’t even type a velocity bump on Atlanta’s march to the NFC title recreation, simply contemplate how good the Falcons are.

Whom do you cease? Julio Jones is unanimously included among the many greatest three wideouts within the sport, together with Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. In the event you don’t know why, watch his 300-yard recreation towards defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers. When you concentrate on Jones, say hiya to Mohamed Sanu. Cease Sanu, and meet Taylor Gabriel, who scored seven touchdowns on simply fifty four touches this season.

LISTEN: Francesa Says You Can’t Go Fallacious With Attainable Tremendous Bowl Matchups

Play a nickel protection? Swing open the door to Devonta Freeman. Although deadly on the bottom, but Freeman additionally led the Falcons with eighty yards receiving towards the Seahawks, a part of his general one hundred twenty five-yard efficiency. (Freeman additionally scored a dashing TD.) And when Freeman takes a breather, enter Tevin Coleman, who averaged 5.2 yards per carry towards Seattle and scored on a TD reception.

Relying on the sports activities guide, Atlanta is favored by 4 to 5 factors over the Packers. The heralded odds equipment, FiveThirtyEight, provides Atlanta a sixty one % probability to beat Rodgers and the Packers. (And sure, No. 12 is so good he deserves lead…

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