The Atlanta Falcons were very close to being the only team to ever blow a 20 point second half lead at home in a playoff game. They were so close Falcons head coach Mike Smith’s hair went from gray to 50 shades of gray. Up 27-7 late in the third quarter, the Falcons went to sleep and found themselves trailing the Seattle Seahawks 28-27 with less than a minute remaining. Less then a minute away from Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez, and Smith walking off the field without a playoff win. Three plays later, Matt Bryant hit a field goal with :08 seconds left to lead the Falcons to a 30-28 win over the Seahawks.
The Falcons dominated the first half by controlling the ball with an effective run game and bursting out to a 20-0 lead. Gonzalez and Roddy White scored touchdowns in the first half and Bryant hit two field goals. The Seahawks had a chance to get points at the end of the half but mismanaged the clock after a sack and came away with nothing.
In the third quarter, the Seahawks and Falcons traded touchdowns and it appeared like the clock would be against the Seahawks.
The fourth quarter was all Seattle and Russell Wilson. Wilson lead three scoring drives in 12 minutes to give the Seahawks a 1 point lead with :31 second remaining.
Matt Ryan wouldn’t be denied. Ryan took the ball at his own 28 yard line with a handful of seconds and two timeouts in his pocket. First, Ryan found Harry Douglas for 22 yards to move the ball to midfield Timeout. Then, Ryan beat the blitz and found Gonzalez for 19 yards to set up Bryant’s game winning field goal.
Next week, the Falcons will host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
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