DETROIT—Any opponent coming to the Georgia Dome in the playoffs will have to deal with the Falcons and their sizzling quarterback.
Matt Ryan staggered the Lions early and finished them off late for a 31-18 Falcons victory Saturday night at Ford Field. The Falcons (13-2) will be the NFC’s top seed with a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs.
Now the Falcons will try to parlay the NFC’s top seed into postseason success. They couldn’t do it in 2010, when they also posted the NFC’s best record only to lose 48-21 to the Packers in the divisional playoffs round.
“It’s in the back of our minds,” Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud said of that game. “But we know we are a different team than we were two years ago with the passion we play with and the play-making ability is much higher than we had two years ago.”
Atlanta’s victory over Detroit rendered moot the result of next Sunday’s regular-season finale against Tampa Bay at the Georgia Dome. The