The Atlanta Falcons beat the Detroit Lions 31-18 Saturday night and earned home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
It would be easy to overlook the lowly Detroit Lions (4-10) because they have lost six straight and were bad enough to lose to Arizona last week 38-10, allowing the Cardinals to end a nine-game slide.
Last year’s discord in Detroit left the Falcons and Lions bickering at each other and accusing the other side of bad sportsmanship.
The Detroit Lions may have finally hit rock bottom for 2012.
Falcons coach Mike Smith has learned that little credit is given for regular-season success when it is followed by postseason flops.
The Falcons had just been called for a costly pass-interference penalty with Atlanta clinging to a seven-point lead late in Sunday’s game against Detroit.
After the Falcons stopped Detroit 23-16 on Sunday, word filtered from Atlanta’s locker room that Lions defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril taunted quarterback Matt Ryan after he appeared to suffer a serious ankle injury.
Matt Ryan went to the sideline with a worrying injury, then came back a few plays later to lead his team.
I was very disappointed at the Lions performance. Very. I think the Falcons are a solid team, but nothing special, and this was a very winnable game.
The Lions’ season didn’t end Sunday with a 23-16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.