Well that prediction was more accurate than I could have ever... well... predicted. And today, due to the dramatic end of the game, the Falcons are getting more national attention than the rest of the season combined. This would be a time where our expectations as Falcons fans could ran away from us, especially with a pretty much guaranteed win over the lifeless "Bye Week." I, however, will continue to extol the virtue of patience.
If you watched the game, you know the Falcons should have blown out the Bears. The end of the game should have come with Matty Ice (a now well-deserved nickname) taking a knee rather than Elam attempting a 48 yd field goal. It's a problem when you look at the box score and see "Elam - 29 yd field goal. Elam - 32 yd field goal." And he missed a 33 yd field goal. We got an 85 yd return from Norwood in the 4th quarter and our drive looked like this: Turner runs for -2 yards, Turner runs for 2 yards, Turner runs for 2 yards, missed field goal. Granted the aforementioned drive happened in the fourth quarter when we were trying to run out the clock, and granted the Bears are still a very good defensive team, but those are red zone (or near enough) opportunities the Falcons cannot afford to squander against good teams. It didn't kill them Sunday against an anemic Bears team, but it will later on.
On the bright side the close score belies the fact that the Falcons dominated a solid Bears team that was hot coming into this game. Ryan proved, for one game at least, that he can burn a team if they continuously stack the box. I love the offensive game that Mularkey called. He put his trust in Ryan by allowing him to throw 30 times against a battered Bears secondary, but he didn't pull a Gruden and go completely pass wacky. He ran the ball 28 times to ensure that the Bears had to continually worry about Turner going off.
But now it's time for the stat that continues to blow my mind, and no one in their right mind would have suggested at the beginning of the season. It's so mind-blowing, I just might make it a reoccurring section at the end of Falcons articles. I'm just going to end on it to give it plenty of room to sink in and let you realize just how much it explains all the success the Falcons are having...
Sacks Allowed: 7