If you wanted to set up a storybook postseason for the Falcons and Matt Ryan, the only way you could have improved the formula was if the Saints had somehow made it to the playoffs and lost to the Atlanta scoring machine, as well. While they’re going to make all sorts of history if they win, one of the most impressive parts of their run concerns the legendary quarterbacks they’ve been able to (and hopefully will be able to) triumph over.
If the Falcons knock off Tom Brady and the Patriots, they’ll have beaten three of the 10 or so best quarterbacks in football in sequence. Depending on your perspective, that might even be three of the top five. Forget the amazing years Brady and Rodgers have had, and the very good one Wilson has had, and look at the career numbers for these players.
Tom Brady: 17 seasons, 63.8% completion percentage, 61,582 yards, 456 touchdowns/152 interceptions
Aaron Rodgers: 12 seasons, 65.1% completion percentage, 36,827 yards, 297 touchdowns/72 interceptions
Russell Wilson: 5 seasons, 64.7% completion percentage, 18,193 yards, 127 touchdowns/45 interceptions
Brady and Rodgers are almost certainly going to the Hall of Fame, and Wilson may someday get there as well. Beating those three quarterbacks (and the quality teams around them, obviously) back-to-back-to-back on the postseason stage is a tremendous accomplishment, and would do a lot to cement this team’s legacy as both the finest Falcons team ever and one of the better NFL teams in recent memory. It’s also going to do wonders for Matt Ryan, who is breaking through every lazy narrative about his inability to rise to the occasion in one fell swoop.
I am not suggesting that we should consider these QB winz or anything of the sort, but if you’re looking for another way to burnish the legacy of this team, the quality of the dudes under center is probably a good one.