Matty Ice and the Falcons are now the people’s champions

Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan celebrates after the NFL football NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Atlanta. The Falcons won 44-21 to advance to Super Bowl LI. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Coming into the Falcons and Packers playoff game, all the talk was about A-a-ron. Yet the Falcons turned the league on its head and showed that you do not need an elite defense to win championships. Matt Ryan, the deserving 2016-17 most valuable player, made yet another statement on live television as he threw for 392 yards and accounted for five touchdowns.

For the fourth straight playoff game, Ryan threw for three-plus touchdowns as he broke an NFL record and helped get the Atlanta Falcons into the Super Bowl. Many pundits and certainly myself thought Ryan was the worst quarterback out the four remaining, but he proved many people wrong in a fantastic performance that resembled much of the 2016-17 campaign.

While most of the conversation is about the offense, and deservedly so, the Falcons’ offense played very well as they caused two turnovers and held the Packers’ offense to 21 points. Rodgers was held to under 300 yards and he threw an interception as the under covered Falcons defense showed up.

As an avid football fan, I am constantly glued to the couch watching Eli and the Giants play along with all of the prime time games, but it seemed this year the Falcons were never on television. With a top-tier quarterback, a top-two wide receiver in Julio Jones and a solid rushing attack, the Falcons are a legit offense that is simply fun to watch. I am just sad that it took me this long to realize it and to see them in action.

From a neutral perspective, the Falcons are the perfect team to root for, as they have never won a super bowl, have marquee players and score almost every time they have the ball.  A matchup versus either the Steelers or the Patriots would be high scoring and full of big names as Matt Ryan will either get his first ring, Big Ben would get his third or Brady would get his fifth. For someone who does not like the Patriots and does not want the Steelers to get their seventh title, the Falcons could become the people’s champions.

As a New Jersian in the New England area, the worst Super Bowl matchup would have been the Cowboys versus the Patriots, as that would have been a nightmare. While it pains me to say this, the Patriots are good, and good could be an understatement. Each and every year they win 12 plus games and for the last six years have they made it to the conference championship game. The only person that can beat Brady in the Super Bowl is Eli, and with Eli out this year, Matt Ryan might have to take that mantle.

After maybe the worst season in his career, Matt Ryan and the Falcons are 60 minutes away from a Super Bowl victory, and I think the majority of America agrees when I say, go Falcons. Please stop Tom Brady from becoming the G.O.A.T, and spare all of the non-New England fans in the Northeast from yet another year of misery, and as always you cannot spell elite without Eli.


Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at matthew.kren@uconn.edu.