Time for an afternoon run through some odds and ends from all around the division:
Former NFL running back and current broadcaster Marshall Faulk says the pressure is only going to intensify for the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game. I get the point that pressure increases with each level of the postseason. But I also think that, in some ways, just getting a playoff victory against Seattle eased the pressure on the Falcons. At least they don’t have to spend the week talking about past playoff woes.
D. Orlando Ledbetter takes a look at the matchup between Atlanta’s passing offense and San Francisco’s pass defense. I give the nod to the Falcons here. It’s tough to beat a receiver tandem of Roddy White and Julio Jones and we don’t even need to start talking about the other options in the passing game.
Here’s a photo of the loudest decibel level recorded during the playoff win against Seattle. The Falcons are hoping the Georgia Dome crowd can be even louder during the NFC Championship Game.
The Falcons have announced they’ve promoted Marvin Allen to national scout. He has spent the past four years as the team’s scout for the Eastern region.
Charlotte City Council voted in favor of giving the Panthers $125 million to help renovate Bank of America Stadium. The facility, which opened in 1996, was built without any public funding.
Joseph Person reports that the Panthers have interviewed veteran special teams coach Bobby April. The team also is looking for an offensive coordinator and has interviewed Hue Jackson and Pat Shurmur.
Quarterback Cam Newton is enrolled at Auburn this semester and is working toward a degree in sociology.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
New Orleans is getting ready to host the Super Bowl and the fact that it’s possible the Falcons could be coming to town has to bother Saints’ fans. But Mike Triplett points out that tight end Tony Gonzalez is one Atlanta player worth rooting for. Gonzalez is the best tight end in history, a model citizen and it’s possible the Super Bowl could be the final game of his spectacular career.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, here’s a picture of the game tickets. It’s not hard to spot a New Orleans theme.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
General manager Mark Dominik is a finalist for the USAA “Salute to Service’’ award. In a city with a large military presence, Dominik initiated a community outreach program for active and retired military personnel.