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What A Complete Game From The Falcons Truly Means

With the distance of a couple of days, we can examine this with a more open mind.

Scott Cunningham

The Atlanta Falcons shellacked the New York Giants. Humbled them. Stomped them. Took them to a nice farm upstate. You get the picture.

I cautioned fans before the game about sinking too much into this particular game, though I was more concerned with what would happen if the Falcons suffered a tough loss. Obviously that did not happen, but I think it's worth considering how much weight we should give this particular football game.

To begin with: This win is as impressive as hell. The Giants were playing for their playoff lives, just like the Saints a couple of weeks ago, and the Falcons smacked them down with alacrity. Whatever you may think of this in the big picture, it was the kind of win that great football teams get by playing up to their ability. No one can wrest that away from the Falcons, no matter how hard they may try.

Still, while we finally saw what it looks like when the Falcons play their best football in all phases, we should be wary about anointing them based on this game. It's easy to look at a Panthers loss or a Giants win and draw conclusions that are far too broad for a single win or loss. The Falcons probably won't play as well as they did in this one in the playoffs or as poorly as they did against the Panthers. How they fare will depend on the opponent, among a host of other factors.

What matters most for our purposes is that the Falcons showed us they are truly capable of playing that game we've dreamed of all season long.. Add that to the fact that they're playoff bound and probably headed for homefield advantage and you can accept the fact that even if you're not weighing the Giants game too heavily, this season has been mighty encouraging.

What do you think?