While surveying the Atlanta Falcons' 13-3 season, in which they finished as the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution went back to a Week 2 Monday Night Football matchup to select the single play that most defined the team's season.
The Falcons are typified as a team known for offense, especially because quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 4,719 yards and had two 1,000-yard receivers, but the Journal-Constitution chose a defensive play. In Week 2, the Falcons lined up against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on a Monday night.
Strong safety William Moore intercepted Manning on his second passing attempt of that game, and he returned it down to the Broncos 1-yard line. Free safety Thomas DeCoud told the Journal-Constitution why that play mattered as much as it did.
"We felt that if we could rattle (Manning) early, we could dictate the flow of the game. The main focus was to confuse him all game."
The Falcons did rattle Manning early and dictate the flow of that game. Manning finished with three interceptions, and the Falcons won, 27-21. Denver eventually finished with the No. 1 seed in the AFC.