Until Weekend. As The atlanta area Falcons kicker He Dez bryant viewed his 49-yard area objective cruise between the verticals, Gonzalez dropped to the floor. He combined. He screamed. And then, lastly, he cried, providing in to the craze of when as the Falcons defeat the Dallas Seahawks, 30-28, to finish a rapid last-minute move that came, incredibly, after they had offered a 20-point cause.
After sustained periods of regular-season achievements doused by Jan frustration, it was the first playoff achievements for The atlanta area qb He He (who had been 0-3), the first for Trainer Scott Cruz (0-4) and, most especially to many in the Falcons’ locker space, the first for the expert limited end Gonzalez (0-5), who is considering going off after this interval.
Not incredibly, Gonzalez was hardly the only one surprised in the putting on a costume space subsequently, as many of the The atlanta area gamers recognized being dazed by what they had just knowledgeable. Enjoying as the No. 1 seeds in the N.F.C., the Falcons came out quick, getting a 20-0 halftime cause. Then they were bulldozed through much of the third and 4th areas, providing up 21 factors in the ultimate interval and dropping behind, 28-27, when Marshawn Lynch operated into the end area from 2 metres out with about Half a moment staying.
At that factor, many experts believed it was over and even some Falcons gamers admitted they were uncertain they would be able to restore from that kind of abdomen impact. Middle Todd McClure said it was challenging not to think that “all that effort is going down the strain.”
But with some Falcons lovers going for the Atlanta Dome leaves, Jacquizz Rodgers came back the Seahawks’ start to the The atlanta area 28, and with 25 a few moments on time, He went to perform.
“We always discuss, in those kinds of circumstances, let us create that first perform and get going,” he said. And the Falcons did. He discovered John Douglas for 22 metres to midfield. The perform took only six a few moments.
On the next play, Ryan, who recorded 250 passing yards and threw 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, dropped back again. Facing a hard Seattle blitz, he stood in the pocket and hit Gonzalez for 19 yards to the Seattle 31 as the Seahawks’ sideline slumped. Smith then took his last timeout and sent out Bryant, who first waited through a Seattle timeout intended to unnerve him, then coolly blasted his kick through to save the Falcons from another postseason disaster. Atlanta will host San Francisco in the N.F.C. championship game Sunday.
“This is something that’s been a long time coming,” said Gonzalez, who finished with 6 catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. He added, “A long, long time coming.”
Bryant’s kick also spoiled a sensational effort from Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who seemed poised to supplant San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick as the brightest young star of the postseason. Wilson led the Seahawks back from a 14-0 deficit last week against Washington and sparkled again, completing 24 of 36 passes for 385 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed for 60 yards and a score.
In truth, that the game was even close in the fourth quarter was remarkable, as the Falcons were dominant early on. Their explosive offense showed all its tricks, with Ryan frequently trying long passes downfield — his best was a 47-yard touchdown toss to Roddy White in the second quarter — while running backs Michael Turner and Rodgers mixed hard running through the line with explosive bursts in the open field.
“I like the way we started the game,” said Smith, who saw his team blown out by Green Bay two years ago when the Falcons also were the No. 1 seed. “They never quit, and we had one hell of a game.”
The Seahawks, meanwhile, could not get out of their own way at the start. Lynch, who lost fumbles only twice during the regular season, coughed up the ball for the second time in two playoff games after an early 11-yard run, allowing the Falcons to capitalize when Ryan found Gonzalez for a touchdown that made the score 10-0. Then, late in the second quarter, Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll made two decisions that will surely be hot topics for a long time in the Pacific Northwest, and, in both cases, left Seattle without precious points.
First, Carroll opted to pass on a short field-goal attempt on fourth-and-1 from the Atlanta 11 with a little under six minutes remaining in the first half, keeping his offense on the field but curiously putting the ball in the hands of fullback Michael Robinson — and not Lynch or Wilson — on a short-yardage carry. Robinson was stuffed, and the Falcons turned the decision into a touchdown that gave them a 20-0 lead.
On the Seahawks’ ensuing possession, Seattle again moved the ball deep in to Atlanta territory only to see Carroll spend his final timeout of the half after the Seahawks had gotten a first down at the Falcons’ 6 with 25 seconds remaining.
That left Carroll with no recourse when Wilson was subsequently sacked on third down — Jonathan Babineaux streaked into the backfield — and the Seahawks failed to get off another play before time expired.