The Atlanta Falcons are tantalizingly close to their first Super Bowl victory ever. They have to beat an extremely tough opponent in the New England Patriots, but this seems doable after the Falcons thrashed two quality opponents in the playoffs on their way here.
The key, then, will be to simply play the kind of game we know these Falcons are capable of: Offensively spectacular, defensively competent and opportunistic, and all in all wholly demoralizing for the Patriots. To do so, they’ll have to stay focused over the next week.
This is more difficult than it sounds. You are, after all, a young Super Bowl team in a different city, and the run-up to the Super Bowl has caught up players before (cough, Eugene Robinson, cough). Even if you’re not tempted to party, you’ve got plenty of media time and a long layoff to navigate before Sunday, the single biggest game of your life.
In years past, I might have worried more about this than I am at the moment. Despite a seemingly endless onslaught of bad news globally and the team’s proximity to every sports reporter with a pulse this week, Dan Quinn and his players have shown a remarkable tendency to blandly make their way through a week and then kick some ass on a Sunday.
They only need to do so one more time for a Lombardi Trophy, and Quinn’s surely going to put out all the slogan-based, brotherhood-centric stops to keep his team on track for glory.
But hey, just for fun, how would you recommend this team stay focused?