We don't have to wait too much longer now.
The Atlanta Falcons spent an entire season winning football games while acknowledging success was hollow if they failed in January. That realization created a muted environment in Atlanta, a four-month preamble to the real thing.
The regular season became the preseason. It could not have been easy.
The Falcons showed their faith in Ryan by opening up their passing attack this season. The fifth-year quarterback rewarded them by setting career highs in completion percentage, passing yards, touchdowns and passer rating.
A win over the Seahawks won't sway every doubter. But another loss will have suffocating effect. Other than that, no pressure, Matty Ice.