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 ...
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.