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Atlanta Falcons Greatest Moments Bracket: Region 3, Round 2

We move into the second half of our second round of voting with region 3.

We find ourselves going steadily along, now in the second round of this bracket. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for their favorite plays in the first round, and I hope that this is as fun of an exercise for your to participate in as it is for me to write about.

The first round of the first region has been completed. You can look back at those results here. however, voting has been officially closed. The winners go up against each other in this round, with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line.

The rules continue to be the same. It’s a head to head format and the moment in each matchup with the most wins will advance.

I have also seen your concerns regarding some of the videos which could not be played. I have done my best to put in alternate videos which hopefully will work, however, the NFL has done its best to block off almost all of their videos from being viewed on this platform.


1) Mike Vick leads the underdog Falcons to playoff victory against the Packers at Lambeau Field (2002)

vs.

8) Deion Jones pick 6 helps beat the Saints on MNF (2016)

(please view on Youtube)

Vick’s improbable victory in the Frozen Tundra remains memorable nearly 20 years later, as it disposed of Matt Bryant’s game winning regular season kick against Green Bay with a 90%-10% margin.

The excitement and promise of the Mike Vick era in Atlanta reached a fever pitch in the 2002 playoffs, when the second-year quarterback led Atlanta to a decisive playoff victory in cold Green Bay in the Wildcard round. This was the Packers’ first playoff loss at Lambeau Field ever (13-0 previously), and was Packer quarterback Brett Favre’s first career loss in sub-34 degree temperature (35-0 previously). Atlanta’s defense and their “DVD” rushing attack put it all together to create one of the most memorable playoff moments ever for the franchise.

I figured the matchup between Deion Jones’ pick 6 and Julio’s game winning screen pass TD would be a lot closer to 50-50 but I underestimated the joy of Debo doing it to the Saints and the vast difference in how the 2016 season vs. how the 2019 season. Deion was the victorious Jones with 62% of the vote in that matchup.

An early season Monday Night Football game against the New Orleans, on the 10-year anniversary of the Louisiana Superdome re-opening along with Steve Gleason’s blocked punt, was expected to be a difficult test for the 2016 Falcons. However, the offense put on a clinic on the national stage and it was rookie Deion Jones (a Louisiana native) who put the exclamation point on this one in the form of a 90-yard pick 6 which put the game out of reach. Atlanta’s explosive offense and Jones’ playmaking ability were a harbinger of things to come that season.

Poll

Which play wins?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    1) Mike Vick leads the underdog Falcons to playoff victory against the Packers at Lambeau Field (2002)
    (78 votes)
  • 23%
    8) Deion Jones pick 6 helps beat the Saints on MNF (2016)
    (24 votes)
102 votes total Vote Now

12) Falcons upset the Los Angeles Rams for a road playoff win in Wildcard Round (2017)

(Please view on Youtube)

vs.

4) Morten Andersen kicks game-winning FG to beat the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game (1998)

(Play occurs at 4:22 mark. Please view on Youtube).

The lowest seed left standing in the third region, the last playoff victory we ever witnessed as Falcons fans at this point was always going to be more formidable than your run of the mill 12-seed. That proved to be the case when this moment won 62% of the vote against Devin Hester’s record breaking punt return.

As frustrating of a season as 2017 was for the Falcons, they still managed to win double digit games and make the playoffs as a Wildcard team. They figured it all out in that Wildcard round, as their defense shut down the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. Atlanta used the strength of the defense and a timely screen pass to Mohamed Sanu, which led to a big Matt Ryan to Julio Jones touchdown, to secure an upset playoff win on the road.

Speaking of being more formidable than the seeding on paper, Morten Andersen’s kick feels like a 1-seed masking as a number 4. That looked to be the case in its first round matchup against Michael Haynes’ hail marry TD catch — Andersen’s kick had the most lopsided victory of the first round in the entire bracket, winning 94% of the vote.

Morten Andersen’s kick is probably the strongest 4-seed you’ll ever see in any bracket. The 1998 Falcons were given next to no chance of beating the super-powered 15-1 Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. Those Vikings felt like a team whose name was ready to be pre-engraved on the Super Bowl trophy, but titles aren’t won on paper. Gary Anderson, Minnesota’s All-Pro kicker who hadn’t missed a single kick all year, missed a 38-yard field goal which would have put the game away. Atlanta responded with a Terrance Mathis touchdown to tie it, before Morten Andersen didn’t miss on his kick in overtime, giving the Birds their first ever Super Bowl appearance, and haunting the nightmares of Vikings fans ever since.

Poll

Which play wins?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    12) Falcons upset the Los Angeles Rams for a road playoff win in Wildcard Round (2017)
    (6 votes)
  • 93%
    4) Morten Andersen kicks game-winning FG to beat the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game (1998)
    (90 votes)
96 votes total Vote Now

6) Grady Jarrett sacks Tom Brady 3 times in Super Bowl 51 (2016)

vs.

3) Julio Jones touchdown over Luke Kuechly helps the Falcons end Carolina’s undefeated season (2015)

(Please view on Youtube)

Grady Jarrett’s impressive performance in the Super Bowl may have been the higher seed, but it surprised me to see how well it did against an all time historic Falcons miracle play — Big Ben Right — winning 59% of the vote, for advancement.

The Atlanta Falcons stole Grady Jarrett in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft. In his sophomore season of 2016, he was already a key contributor for a young upstart defense which peaked at the right time to help the Birds reach their second ever Super Bowl. In that game, the son of Falcon legend Jessie Tuggle put on a performance for the ages, sacking Tom Brady three times in a game where he would have likely been the Super Bowl MVP had Atlanta held on to win.

Julio Jones’ amazing touchdown over Luke Kuechly had an easy time in the first round, winning 82% of the vote in a matchup against Robert Alford’s walkoff pick 6 against Washington and proving to be too strong in the 3-14 matchup.

The 2015 Falcons made a dream start to the Dan Quinn era, winning their first five games of the season before crashing and burning by losing seven of their next eight after that. In Week 16 they welcomed the undefeated 14-0 Carolina Panthers, who had just pulverized them 37-0 in Charlotte two weeks prior. Carolina was seeking just the second perfect 16-game regular season in NFL history. With pride of the line, the Falcons fought tooth and nail and took a second half lead they would never relinquish. That happened on a 3rd-and-13 hail marry pass from Matt Ryan which Julio Jones caught downfield directly over All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly for a 70-yard touchdown. Atlanta used that score to give Carolina its only regular season defeat of 2015.

Poll

Which play wins?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    6) Grady Jarrett sacks Tom Brady 3 times in Super Bowl 51 (2016)
    (45 votes)
  • 53%
    3) Julio Jones touchdown over Luke Kuechly helps the Falcons end Carolina’s undefeated season (2015)
    (51 votes)
96 votes total Vote Now

10) Roddy White burns Seattle secondary in Divisional Round (2012)

(Please view on Youtube)

vs.

2) Deion Jones game-winning interception in the end zone against the Saints on TNF (2017)

A bit of an upset was in the making in the 7-10 matchup, when Roddy White’s touchdown and trash talk against Richard Sherman won an impressive 66% of the vote over Deion Sanders getting drafted, which felt like a pretty strong 7-seed.

Roddy White was a eccentric and outspoken personality who talked trash and backed it up on the field. He matched up against someone who matched that exact same description in Seattle’s Richard Sherman in the 2012 playoffs, and the two did not like each other. In a crucial moment early in the game, White cut through the legion of boom for a momentum establishing 47-yard touchdown reception in what turned into a back and forth thriller. This ended up being Matt Ryan’s (and Roddy’s) first career playoff victory. White immediately went to Sherman and let him know about the score after securing the catch.

Deion Jones’ Thursday night heroics against the hated Saints had a pretty strong win against Julio Jones’ heroic performance against the Bucs from that same season, taking 70% of the vote.

The Thursday Night Football matchup between the Falcons and Saints in Week 14 had potential playoff implications, a choke sign from Sean Payton to Devonta Freeman referencing Super Bowl 51 and as much bad blood as there always is when these two teams meet, especially on the national stage. It was a back and forth game where neither team led by more than one possession at any point and which had the stage set for a game-winning Drew Brees touchdown drive to rip out Falcon hearts. Brees led the Saints to the Atlanta 11-yard-line with 1:30 remaining before trying to force a pass into double coverage to Josh Hill (on a verts play) which Deion Jones promptly intercepted in the end zone. Atlanta snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and psychologically crushed the Saints and their fanbase all in one play. And it was seen by the entire country.

Poll

Which play wins?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    10) Roddy White burns Seattle secondary in Divisional Round (2012)
    (35 votes)
  • 63%
    2) Deion Jones game-winning interception in the end zone against the Saints on TNF (2017)
    (60 votes)
95 votes total Vote Now

The winner of the 1-8 matchup will face the winner of the 4-12 matchup in the next round. The winner of the 3-6 matchup will face the winner of the 2-10 matchup in the next round.

Our next article will be looking at matchups in the second round of the fourth and final region of our bracket.