Rapid Reaction: Falcons 28, Panthers 20

Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

ATLANTA -- With Sunday’s victory, the Atlanta Falcons have set up the biggest game this franchise has had since going to the NFC Championship Game in the 2004 season.

I’m serious. And that statement includes last season’s playoff game against Arizona.

The Falcons are going to New England to play the Patriots. Think about that one. It goes way beyond Matt Ryan going back to Boston.

This is a chance for the Falcons to truly establish themselves as an elite team. I think they did most of the leg work on that last year, but a lot of people still don’t take the Falcons as seriously as they should.

Going into New England (yes, I'm aware the Patriots lost to the Jets, but they still are the Patriots) and coming out with a win would show the entire world that the Falcons are for real.