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  1. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/cmon-admit-it-nobodys-really-pumped-up-to-watch-these-falcons-in-the-super-bowl/ C'mon, admit it: Nobody's really pumped up to watch these Falcons in the Super Bowl By Bill Reiter 9h ago • 3 min read HOUSTON -- The Patriots might have Deflategate, Roger Goodell and revenge on their minds as they prepare for Super Bowl LI. But they've hardly cornered the market on bringing a chip on the shoulder to the big game. It might be true that Goodell would rather not see the Patriots here this week. But it's also true almost no one else -- sorry, Atlanta fans -- is burning to have the Falcons up against them. This is not a knock on Atlanta. If anything, it's a knock on me -- and you -- for not seeing earlier, embracing now and getting fired up by Sunday for a Falcons team that is a force on offense and an absolutely worthy contender as the game's best football team. And yet ... I can't. Can you? They sure can't here in Houston. And while the Falcons are clearly aware and channeling that grudge, it still makes them more blasé than captivating. The buzz here for the NFC's champion remains painfully far from robust. At Opening Night, the vibe Monday during the Falcons' session was utterly flat. And the team, following suit, was every bit as boring and low-key as you would expect from a group that all season has been overlooked, underappreciated and -- even now -- mostly an afterthought. There are several reasons for that. The Patriots are an amazing story -- the dynasty implications, the Goodell-Deflategate storyline, Tom Brady trying to win a fifth Super Bowl ring, never done by a quarterback, and even Bill Belichick and his growing mastery over the game. But some of this has to do with a Falcons team that despite its high-powered offense is neither particularly interesting nor widely respected. Quarterback Matt Ryan -- the front-runner for this season's MVP -- perfectly encapsulates all of this. Ryan has been in the league for nine seasons and over that time he has put together a Hall of Fame résumé. He is already 21st all-time in passing yards, 25th all-time in touchdown passes, 11th all-time in passer rating and 12th all-time in game-winning drives. Add a Super Bowl win to that and he's a Hall of Fame player, period. "I feel like he doesn't get enough credit because he hasn't won it yet, and I feel like that's just how it goes," Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce told me Tuesday. "This is his first time in the dance, with the success you get I feel like that's where your QB rankings go." Even this season, as we've obsessed over Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers and Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, many of us have missed Ryan's extraordinary season. He had 4,944 passing yards, second to Drew Brees by just 264 yards. But Ryan had 139 fewer attempts -- making him markedly more efficient. He averaged 9.3 yards per attempt, a full yard better than the next closest QB, Brady. He had 39 touchdowns, second only to Rodgers' 40. His 117.1 QB rating was the best in the league, five points better than Rodgers. And yet, at Monday night's televised circus of a media day, they threw this man on the stage with his opponent, Brady, and made him stand there awkwardly as the New England quarterback was asked what advice he had for Ryan. Ugh. "Matt doesn't need my advice," Brady said. "He's doing just fine by himself." Nor, it turns out, does he need our respect. Nobody really wants his team here, but the Falcons couldn't care less. Few saw it coming, yet here they are. Most people think the Patriots are more or less a sure thing -- almost 70 percent of the betting public is putting its money down on the Patriots, even though they're three-point favorites. Matty Ice might be boring, his Falcons not interesting and Atlanta utterly underwhelming here at sports' biggest event. But that might not stop them from winning it all, and from Ryan quietly putting himself into sure-thing Hall of Fame territory.
  2. Some old ones from a board great, Falken! Some Gritz love too! Just please keep them within the board guidelines and have fun!
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