I still have flashbacks in my head like what if Harry Douglas kept standing or what if Matt Ryan saw that Tony Gonzalez was open on 4th down. Ugh very frustrating.
When exactly in the fourth did Ryan sustain his injury? Im trying to remember exactly what play he got nailed on. I think it was when he made that 22 yarder to Harry that your speaking of. If I am right, he looked gimpy the rest of the game ( or what was left in it )..
BUt here's what helped me sleep. Watching Sunday's Pats beatdown, and the idea that a broken Matt Ryan or a sucky Luke McCown tried to take on that Ravens D in New Orleans. A healthy Matt Ryan could have beaten Tom Brady there. Im not so sure about him vs the Ravens. And the idea of a broken Matty or L.M. going into the Superdome would have been much, much worse. It would have made Super Bowl XXIV: San Francisco 55, Denver Broncos 10 look like a competitive game. The Falcons would have made history: it would have been the most embarrasing, lopsided scoring Superbowl and that record would have stood for a 'long long time'. And it would all play out in front of the mocking, laughing, dancing idiot Saints fans, and we would be hearing about this Superbowl for decades.
It would have been an embarrassment on a scale even greater then Eugene Robinson.
It would have crushed Matt's confidence. It would humiliate Arthur Blank.
In a Disney film, D Davis comes in, and ressurects the team and beats the 'schoolyard bully' to the orchestral swell... In reality, Matt goes in for a quarter with his shoulder numbed, struggles, get's even more injured ( because of course Smith puts him in there!) which screws us up for NEXT season, then Luke McCown comes in and loses the game for us. In historical fashion. This isn't my 'imagination', it is absolutely how all this plays out if Harry Douglas doesnt trip. ( caveat: Im assuming it was on that play Ryan got injured. If it happened later, then we could assume maybe Ryan doesnt retake the field, or only to kneel:leaving him uninjured for the SB)
Instead, we left the season playing tough. We won a playoff game and was in the championship game until the last minutes. Actually, us losing that game: and in that fashion was probably the absolute best outcome for everybody involved ( ducks head and waits for the flames to begin!