Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant celebrates his 47 yard field goal while far, far away in Regina, this Seahawks fan could only hang his head and wonder what if as Atlanta moves on to the NFC Championship game against San Francisco. Don't get me wrong, Atlanta deserved the win in what turned out to be a classic football game, but for the next few days, weeks and months I will wonder if the better team actually won on this day.
I won't lie to you. At halftime, I thought it was over. Seattle looked bad, they looked real bad. However, they turned it on in the 3rd quarter and when Marshawn Lynch scored with 31 seconds left, there was a glimmer of hope that maybe just maybe the Seahawks were off to San Francisco. While I think Seattle was the better team, perhaps they didn't deserve it because they just made too many mistakes in the first half. The most glaring one coming at the end of the half when Russell Wilson was sacked when he could not afford to be thus preventing a last play field goal attempt by Ryan Longwell. The rookie quarterback was poised in there especially with the season hanging in the balance, but he just couldn't afford to be sacked in that situation when he was. Perhaps if Pete Carroll had run the two minute clock a little better, Wilson wouldn't have been put in that situation. The biggest play of the game though might have been in the first quarter. Matt Ryan had not had a lot of playoff success and on the game's 2nd drive when he threw a bad interception to Bobby Wagner, you know some doubt started creeping in. A few plays later, Lynch fumbled in Atlanta territory and it was all Falcons after that in the first half. If Lynch doesn't fumble and Seattle gets points which they likely do, I think the complexion of the game is different and I think the winner is too.
As I said, the Falcons deserved this one and I wish them the best of luck against San Francisco next week. I don't want to see a Harbaugh vs Harbaugh Super Bowl and I don't really want to see a rematch of the Sunday night game a few weeks ago when the Niners beat New England. I will gladly take a Falcons-Ravens or a Falcons-Patriots Super Bowl. I'm on that Atlanta bandwagon.
As for the Seahawks, I had them at the start of the year competing for a wild-card spot, but competing for a wild-card spot with Matt Flynn as their quarterback and not Russell Wilson. I don't know what the future holds for the Wisconsin grad, but a star was born in the Pacific Northwest this year and I see the Seahawks being right back in the playoff picture next year and beyond.
A poll for a Seattle newspaper asked if this is the most heartbreaking defeat in Seahawks history. I don't think it is, but its up there.
Other thoughts from the weekend:
Rider fans, how long does it take for the pain to go away! You should know. Never mind, I know the answer. SIGHHHHHHH!!!!