The Falcons have historically been a two-faced team under head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan. During the regular season, Ryan has always been Mr. Clutch. In the postseason, he had been a disappointment.
It was fitting that, in a game where the Falcons seemed to have tickled doubters by blowing a 27-7, third-quarter lead with 31 seconds left, Matt Ryan would go to his regular bag of tricks to get the win. Matt Bryant connected from 49 yards out—something he has done time and time again this season in the waning moments of games—to give the Falcons the win.
Better yet, Tony Gonzalez, who was searching for his first playoff win in what he insists is his last year, caught the pass that put Bryant into field goal range.
It was an electric, rollercoaster ride in Atlanta on Sunday. Here are the winners and losers from the contest.