Weeks 1-8

Week 8 was a rematch of the NFC Championship Game, a shootout between the Falcons and the Packers in the Georgia Dome which was won by the Falcons in the final minute. Although football fans were probably expecting that type of head-to-head matchup once again in the title game, the Falcons showed that defensively they posed a threat. The Falcons defense was giving up 28.6 points per game through the first eight weeks — and despite relying on a high-powered offense — in the Championship Game they gave up 21 points to a Packers offense led by Aaaron Rodgers.

Yeah, no need to “relax” … it’s just an inexperienced Atlanta defense. The young Falcons defense was exposed early in the season but each week, they kept growing up, and growing up. Week 5 in the Mile High against the defending champs, Atlanta held the Broncos to 16 points. The following week in the NFL’s most hostile environment, CenturyLink Field in Seattle, 26 points, in a tightly contested match. Those types of games led to the maturity and valuable atmospheres to not feel overwhelmed for what would be forthcoming.