While looking at the preseason predictions, it didn’t surprise me that many people picked the divisional game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers as the game in the NFC Championship. Instead we get a fresh matchup featuring two teams that are pretty unfamiliar with one another.
These teams haven’t played since 2010 and times have changed since then. In 2010, San Francisco was suffering from another losing season with Alex Smith continuing to struggle, while Atlanta surprised everyone and went 13-3. Since there have been so many playoff rematches this year from recent memory, it’s nice to see a fresh matchup.
Both teams clash in style, with San Francisco relying on the unpredictable read-option plays while leaning towards running the ball more. Atlanta has become a pass-first team and relies on Matt Ryan to make the offense function.
The concept of the article is to break down the impact certain players can have on the game regardless if there a star player or a role player. I did a similar article last week for the Seahawks-Falcons game, which had a few players on the list that had performances that changed the course of the game. It should be the case again featuring five players from each team.