It was a long time coming, but Boston College’s much-maligned former quarterback finally reached a milestone after several years of trying.
Thanks to some late heroics in a very bleak moment, the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 30-28, to advance to the NFC Championship Game. The victory was Matt Ryan’s first playoff win. Ryan had been drafted by Atlanta in 2008 following a stellar 2007 season in which the Eagles went 11-3 and won the Champs Sports Bowl.
Since Ryan landed in Atlanta, the Falcons, previously known to be a “have-not” franchise that had not even recorded consecutive winning seasons or consecutive playoff appearances, have made it to the postseason four out of five years. It took Matt Ryan until his fourth try to finally win a playoff game, though this one became very much in doubt. The Falcons took a 20-point lead into the half but actually trailed with less than a minute to go in regulation. Ryan got Atlanta in field goal range and Matt Bryant sealed the win.
A loss would have been a devastating blow to the franchise and would have put Ryan himself under serious pressure, but that will not come to pass. Whether or not he goes any further in this playoff chase, Ryan deserves his share of credit for this win and for bringing a never-before-seen consistency to Atlanta football.