The Atlanta Falcons put on quite the show Sunday afternoon. The Falcons had zero trouble against the Green Bay Packers, beating them by a final score of 44-21. Atlanta advances to Super Bowl 51 to face the winner of the AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Falcons offense was incredibly impressive for the second straight week. They had no trouble putting a beatdown on the Seattle Seahawks defense, and so it was no surprise to see them absolutely boat race the Packers. The Falcons jumped on top 10-0 in the first quarter, and then forced a Packers fumble. There was some thought the Falcons should have been called for a safety, but the refs ruled it a touchback. The Falcons turned that into a touchdown.
Down 10-2 and getting the ball instead of dropping behind 17-0 might have been a difference-maker, but considering what we saw of the Falcons offense, I don’t know if it would have been quite that big. We’ll never know, but we do know the Falcons offense was on fire. Matt Ryan finished the game 27 of 38 with 392 yards and four touchdowns. The Falcons run game really never got going, but they didn’t need to because Julio Jones was ridiculous. Jones finished the game with nine receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns and the Packers could do nothing to contain him.
There was plenty of tweeting about Kyle Shanahan’s offense, and rightfully so. The San Francisco 49ers have a second interview planned with Shanahan this week. The Falcons win means the 49ers will meet with Shanahan on Friday. That is when the follow-up GM interviews are expected to take place as well. The 49ers cannot formally announce Kyle Shanahan is hired until after the Super Bowl, but we’ll likely hear something in the media courtesy of the 49ers, Shanahan’s agent, Falcons coaches or players, or just about anybody else.
For the next two weeks, we’ll hear a lot about Kyle Shanahan and this offense. It will be a loooooong two weeks for 49ers fans.