USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Falcons have won the right to advance and play the San Francisco 49ers next weekend.
The 49ers stomped the Green Bay Packers. It was a frightening effort from a very good football team, and it cemented the opponent for the Falcons should they actually advance to the NFC Championship Game.
That became a lot more relevant earlier today, when the Falcons held on in a crazy-go-nuts football game against the Seattle Seahawks. That 30-28 win in the NFC Divisional Round not only got the playoff monkey off this team's back, it also ensured they'd move to their first conference championship since 2004.
The Falcons have a real opportunity here. The 49ers are one of the best teams in football and they will give Atlanta a hellish time next week, but they're also quite similar to the Seahawks in many ways. The difference is that their ground game isn't quite as good (on paper), their rookie quarterback a little more reckless, their defense about as sharp. If the Falcons can beat the Seahawks, they can beat the Niners. It just won't be easy, at all.
Regardless out how that game goes, it's just a joy to see the Falcons moving on to the conference championship, where they have the chance to extend this pretty fantastic run. Heart-stopper or no, wins are sweet.
And yes, the Falcons will be huge underdogs. No, that doesn't matter at all.
Begin discussing this Sunday 3 p.m. matchup.