The Atlanta Falcons are the NFC's No. 1 seed and will host the championship game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. They had one of the best records in the NFL this past season, and despite all of that, they're not the favorites to win and advance to the Super Bowl.
Atlanta opened as 3.5 point underdogs to the 49ers, and since, some books have listed San Francisco as much as five point favorites. At this stage, that margin is kind of huge. Historically huge, even.
Since the 1978 expanded playoff format, the Falcons are the biggest underdogs of any No. 1 seed in any round of the playoffs. This is a team that has guys like Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez and John Abraham, and yet, they set that kind of historical precedent.
Regardless, the recent action for both teams does sway in San Francisco's favor when it comes to impressiveness.
Atlanta found themselves barely getting the win over the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round, relying on a Gonzalez reception with 13 seconds left to set up the game-winning field goal. This after Atlanta squandered a 20-point lead.
San Francisco, meanwhile, dominated the Green Bay Packers in the second half. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick had almost 200 yards rushing and accounted for four touchdowns. In short, they were wildly impressive and are riding that hype into this game.