Excerpt: "Hark! We have stumbled upon an alternate definition of the Trap Game, and it goes like this:
You’re on the road, facing a team tied for the NFL’s best record, a team that was just humiliated by a band of last-place blowhards, a team that is still thinking payback for its playoff pummeling last January — and yet the viewing public expects this team to roll over at home the moment they get their first glimpse of the intermittently mighty Giants.
These are strange times for the Atlanta Falcons, who unlike the rest of the NFC are just waiting around for the playoffs to start. It seems everyone regards them as fakes, particularly after their no-show at Carolina, which explains why Tom Coughlin keeps filling Blue minds with his usual tedious pleas of maintaining focus.
Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t.
Because everyone else is telling the Giants that the Falcons aren’t to be taken seriously.
“Who’s fault is that?” Justin Tuck harrumphed. “Are you saying the Falcons are jealous? You write that you said that.”
That’s the point. Nobody is saying much of anything about the Falcons lately, which is an extraordinary accomplishment for an 11-2 team.
Rodney Harrison bashed them on NBC after they were torched by the Panthers, asserting that no one is afraid to play them. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution seized on an NFL.com theme that the Falcons are frauds, and threw it open for public discussion Tuesday.
The consensus at the AJC’s reader forum basically went like this: Yup, sounds about right.
Sure, that’s probably just fan/media prattle, which is never right — until it’s right.
Still, you don’t even know what to make of this team. They clinched their (lousy) division with a month to spare, the remaining games mean little other than a chance to stay home for three extra weeks, and everyone seems to think their point differential reflects a soft team.
Of course, when you practice in a place called Flowery Branch, it doesn’t help." Read more...