The road to the Super Bowl went through Atlanta as the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys, after a bye week, came up short in the final seconds to the Green Bay Packers. Atlanta steamrolled past the Seattle Seahawks in the Divisional game, 36-20. The momentum rolled into the Conference Championship game as the Falcons trounced the Packers in the final game at the Georgia Dome, 44-21. Only allowing 21 and 20 points in both playoff games was a surprise considering Atlanta’s youth on defense, but the magnitude of playoff football is what every player regardless of age or experience thrives off of – especially when you come in prepared and ready to execute like Atlanta did in both games.
Dallas meanwhile came into the postseason with home-field advantage, and with the Super Bowl being hosted three hours away in Houston, the Cowboys’ path was set up to perfection. Even tickets were gone as the Cowboys, also known as America’s team, had fans purchasing tickets expecting the team to make it to Super Bowl 51. With a young nucleus, it proved that this was a team that wasn’t ready to advance, but built as contenders for years to come behind rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. The well-experienced Packers behind one of the game’s best quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, injuries and all throughout the regular season, was a scary sight, but Atlanta found a way to stop him.