True confession: I’ve actually spent a lot of time thinking about who’s going to win this game. (Ordinarily I just go with my gut, which can prove problematic. Perhaps you knew that already.) And I, at the risk of blowing it for everyone, am picking the Falcons. My rationale:
The Falcons have been the better team. The Falcons are playing at home. The Falcons have already proved they can beat Green Bay.
Ergo, the better team/home team/proven team should win. By the count of 20-17, let’s say. And now, having said that …
Green Bay is the only team remaining in the NFC bracket capable of coming here and stealing one. The Bears? No. The Seahawks? Get real. The Packers are a good team capable of winning if the Falcons perform the way they did against New Orleans on Dec. 27. But I’m thinking the Falcons won’t. I’m thinking they’ll learn from that night that a game of such magnitude is no place for timidity. I’m thinking, in sum, that the Falcons will get past this impediment and play in Super Bowl XLV.
But that’s just me. And I’ve been known to be wrong. But I’ve just spoken to a high-level Falcons official — have fun guessing who — and that individual is frankly peeved at the plethora of pundits picking the Packers tonight. (Try saying that three times fast with a mouthful of peanut butter.) And I’m thinking the home side will render a performance to remember — for good reasons.
And with that, this floor is again open for questions, comments and threats for having jinxed the Falcons. I’ll be here all night, and I’d appreciate the ride-along. (Speaking of riding along, I rode to the game from the Atlanta Bread Co. on South Cobb Drive with esteemed colleague Darryl Orlando Ledbetter. D-Led has a sporty Mustang. Bet you didn’t know that about him.)
But I digress. Time to get ready for some football. Time to rise up. Time to watch the Falcons send the Pack packing. Join me, please. You’ll be sorry you did.
By Mark Bradley