The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Seattle Seahawks 30-28 on Sunday, finally putting their previous playoffs woes behind them. Despite a late comeback from Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan was able to get his team in position to knock down a 49-yard field goal, sending the Falcons into the NFC Championship.
Since taking over in 2008, Mike Smith failed to lead his team to a postseason victory in three separate attempts. He and Ryan were constantly criticized for their lack of ability to produce in January. With this win, they can finally get some of their critics to ease up on the negativity, at least for now.
Tony Gonzalez also walked away with his first playoff win, marking arguably the brightest moment in his illustrious 16-year career. Crying after the game, Gonzalez told the media how much the victory meant to him.
Dave Choate from The Falcoholic talked about Gonzalez's first win, and how special it really was.
No more. With the 30-28 nail-biter of a win over the Seahawks, Gonzo can leave that little issue behind. It helps that he caught a vintage Tony Gonzalez touchdown pass in the game, hauling it in despite tight coverage and toe-tapping to stay inbounds. He was an integral part of the game plan, and now he has a playoff victory to add to that long list of accomplishments.
Certainly a future Hall of Famer, Gonzalez can finally take comfort in the fact that he knows what it's like to find success in the playoffs. There may be more of that ahead as the Falcons take on the 49ers this weekend.