Each week, in conjunction with Breda Pest Management, we’ll ask “What’s bugging you?” in the world of sports. There’s plenty to gripe about… well, maybe not plenty.
The Falcons have advanced to the NFC Championship Game and sit one win away from a berth in the Super Bowl. The city of Atlanta is hyped, the buzz is electric and very few fans care about anything but the upcoming matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
But oh, those Packers.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers seems to be on fire, and his offense might be able to keep step with the Falcons’.
We’re easy to find and always thought-provoking. And because we’re partnering with the fine folks over at Breda Pest Management, it’s obvious we’ll be able to find a remedy for what’s pestering you.
That’s certainly been the feel this week. If it wasn’t five times as much it was more than twice. Even the media in Flowery Branch felt it necessary to remind Matt Ryan he wasn’t the big dog in the room.
When a reporter made note to Ryan that he was the only quarterback in the playoffs without a Super-Bowl ring, his immediate response echoed the reporter’s final word “yet.”
Ryan knows there are seven combined rings on the fingers of Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Rodgers. We all know that Rodgers had a heck of a second half to the season.
In Rodgers’ last seven games of the regular season he threw for 2,018 yards, 18 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also completed 70 percent of his passes. In the two playoff games prior to meeting Atlanta, Rodgers added 717 yards passing, six touchdowns and one interception.
Rodgers is on fire. But Ryan has been almost equally as hot.
Ryan completed a better percentage of his passes over the last seven games of the regular season, only amassed 54 fewer passing yards and had a 15-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
There’s no reason for Rodgers to be getting five times, or even two times more love than Ryan.
I hear you, man. When the playoff brackets were announced – even after the Divisional Round was set – I said I’d rather face the Dallas Cowboys on the road than Green Bay at home.
But that’s not the way it worked.
However, don’t get all worked up. Look at the Ryan-Rodgers comparison stats above.
I have noticed a huge sense of bravado and moxie with this city this week. It’s been a lot of fun to observe.
Falcons fans weren’t this excited about the NFC Championship Game back in 2012 against the 49ers, not by a long shot. And I believe that’s for good reason. This 2016 Falcons team is better than that 2012 version.
While that three-headed monster of Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White and Julio Jones was incredible, I’ll take this offense that completed touchdown passes to 13 different receivers and regularly hits eight, nine maybe 10 receivers per game.
I’ll take the two-headed monster of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in the backfield, for sure. Even this youth-movement defense is better than what the Falcons had four years ago.
There’s plenty of reason to be confident heading into Sunday.
We’ve produced many radio segments this week on Green Bay fans buying tickets off the secondary market. It’s going to happen. Packers fans travel well.
But remember, they were here back in Week 8 too. Atlanta won that game in front of a lot of cheese heads and green jerseys.
I like the idea of the home crowd showing up in force and getting there early. But don’t fret about the Packers jerseys. Be louder.