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Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Falcons 33, Packers 32: That'll be the score (again)


By now, you're tired me saying I think the Atlanta Falcons will win the NFC championship. But hey: If I don't say it now, when will I say it?

Falcons 33, Packers 32. Second verse, same as the first. (The first having come in this building on Oct. 30 , the Birds scoring the winning touchdown at 0:31.)

Regular readers know that I yield to no one in my esteem for Football Outsiders. It was with bated breath that I awaited FO's forecast on Ye Olde Title Tilt. And Aaron Schatz, the site's founder and editor, picked ...

Nobody.

Actually, he offered this : "Last team with the ball wins."

Which isn't a bad prediction, you'd have to admit, except that recent precedent showed that the next-to-last team with the ball prevailed. Matt Ryan managed the winning drive expertly -- the trailing Falcons actually huddled, fearful of leaving Aaron Rodgers a chance to answer -- and it was (as I wrote that day) almost with reluctance that Ryan found a leaping Mohamed Sanu when he did.

Green Bay's response: A 7-yard completion to Jeff Janis; an overthrow of Jordy Nelson near midfield; a pass breakup by reserve cornerback C.J. Goodwin and finally a fourth-down throw to nobody. The Falcons' defense had held.

I've been wrong about a lot of stuff involving these Falcons, but here's how I finished that day's missive: "This was the kind of victory that teams playing in January invariably reference as a touchstone." And looky here.

And now: Your attention, please. I've been entrusted with doing the live blog from today's championship game. You can join me on ajc.com here. I look forward to your company, and thank you, as ever, in advance.

Further Falcons:

The matchup: These Falcons against Atlanta history.

The Falcons have been here before; most of these Falcons haven't.

How the soaring Falcons rebuilt on the fly.

ESPN: The 49ers will offer Kyle Shanahan their head coaching job.

In Aaron Rodgers, the Falcons will be facing the NFL's Michael Jordan.

(Gulp) Here comes Aaron Rodgers. But the Falcons will still win.

If I'm the Falcons, I'm rooting for Dallas. (Yes, Dallas.)

The ascendant Falcons make short work of Seattle.

Don't fret over these Falcons: They're too good to flop.

Reviewing October's epic Falcons-Seahawks game.


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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.