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From my perch in the Georgia Dome press box, I spy the ramps for today's halftime show: BMX bike trick jump artists. It's not Robbie Maddison or Rhys Millen this New Year's Eve, but after watching five minutes of these warmups, I've concluded you never need anything more than chunky bikes doing 360s to get the crowd immersed in your halftime entertainment.

But the real show will take place in about 110 minutes. The Falcons enter the week with at least a #6 seed, but they have their eyes on much more. Make no mistake, there will be no letting up on the count of clinching a playoff berth. The Falcons coaches and players have thought about one thing this week in practice: the St. Louis Rams.

Forget about travel plans to Phoenix, Chicago or Minneapolis. Forget about hosting a playoff game in two weeks.

Today is about one thing: BEATING THE RAMS.

The Rams are reeling, losers of 9 games straight. They haven't logged a victory since October 19, an improbable 34-14 home victory over the dysfunctional Dallas Cowboys. They have question marks surrounding their coaching staff. Former Falcon exec Billy Devaney (quite deservedly) has assumed the personnel reins for the organization. Uncertainty, change and a whole lot of losing.

Sound familiar? Yes, just one year ago our franchise was mired in a boatload of uncertainty heading into the final weekend. And we found a way to win in the final week of the season a 44-41 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Players rallied around Interim Head Coach Emmitt Thomas, played for more than just pride and physically dominated Holmgren's squad. The lesson? There's simply too much parity to overlook anyone. The landscape changes too quickly to EVER sit back on your heels.

So while fans and even Falcons staffers may have one eye on the Panthers-Saints game this afternoon (Geaux Saints!), Falcons players and coaches could care less between 1 and 4:30. Their mission is clear, their will resolute.

Are you ready for some FALCONS FOOTBALL?


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