Questions remain about Falcons

18 January 2013 04:48:03 GMTPlus11

A weak schedule and a couple of questionable defeats are the story of the Atlanta Falcons as the NFC's top seed prepares to host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game on Sunday.

Mike Smith is looking for his Atlanta side to defeat San Francisco on Sunday.

In a conference featuring the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints, the Falcons have struggled to gain relevance with the casual fan despite their 13-3 record.

While it is true that you can only play the teams on the schedule, Atlanta found itself the recipients of an extremely kind schedule that featured the poor AFC West and the constantly over rated NFC East.

That combined with a weak AFC South Division and the New Orleans Saints issues with Bounty-gate gave the Falcons a unique opportunity to pad their record.

Add in that Atlanta split their two games with the Carolina Panthers this season, the team with a quarterback in Cam Newton most like the 49ers Colin Kaepernick and the Falcons appear ripe for an upset. On the surface.

However dig a little deeper and the Falcons defense is better than first blush and the ageless one, Tony Gonzalez at tight end, is a difference maker that San Francisco has not faced all year.

Moreover with two top wide receivers on the outside in Julio Jones and Roddy White, quarterback Matt Ryan has the weapons to make this a lot more interesting than anticipated.

The Falcons areĀ 11/2 to win the Super Bowl, while the 49ers are 2/9.

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