Falcons win!


View a photo gallery of the Atlanta Falcons playoff victory

The Atlanta Falcons took their fans on a roller coaster ride during an epic game before delivering the first playoff victory of the Matt Ryan-Mike Smith era at the Georgia Dome on Sunday, winning 30-28 after taking the lead in the game's final seconds.

The Falcons did little wrong in the first half, hammering the Seattle Seahawks 20 to 0 with strong execution in both the running and passing game while the team's defense seemed to leave the Seahawks dazed and confused. The Falcons scored on their first possession after winning the coin toss, a 39-yard field goal by Matt Bryant, and scored a touchdown on a Tony Gonzalez tip-toeing catch at the back of the end zone towards the end of the first quarter.

Later in the first half, Matt Bryant kicked his second field goal from 37 yards out. Then, with just over four minutes left until halftime, Matt Ryan connected on a huge 47-yard pass for a touchdown to Roddy White following a Michael Turner's explosive 33-yard dash. The half ended with a bumbling, panicked Seattle team trying and failing to get a snap off at the Falcons 11-yard line as time expired. The team was in easy field goal range, but because of quarterback Russell Wilson's poor execution and clock management, failed to put points on the board as time expired.

This was the second time in the first half that the Seahawks failed to convert easy points from the Falcons 11-yard line. With 5:33 to go in the second quarter trailing 13 to nothing, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll chose to go for it on fourth and 1 at the Falcons 11. Seahawks running back Michael Robinson, in his only carry of the day, was shut down losing one yard (Robinson only carried the ball 12 times for 49 yards all season).

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