ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer said he understands the skepticism about the Falcons, who are home underdogs against the 49ers in the NFC Championship game Sunday.
“From the quantifiable (perspective), it’s very understandable why people don’t believe in the Falcons,” he said. “They don’t do anything outside their passing game that just jumps out at you and says, ‘Wow, they’re really good at ‘A’, they’re really good at ‘B.’ They also play a lot of tight games against opponents that are, quote-unquote, not ‘top tier’ teams.”
For those reasons, Dilfer said the Falcons “don’t match up with the 49ers,” but he likes the Falcons’ intangible qualities.
“I just know that sometimes the most powerful thing in football is confidence, which you can’t quantify,” Dilfer said. “It’s momentum that you can’t quantify. It’s will, competitive will, to make big plays in big moments. There’s no number to support (it). When I look at the Falcons in that light, I see a lot of that stuff.”
According to TiqIQ, a resale ticket-market aggregator, there were about 3,800 tickets available for the Falcons-49ers game on the secondary market as of Friday.
TiqIQ said the average price for a ticket to the game on the secondary market is $336.40, and the “get in” price is $160. The company said the average and lowest-priced tickets are the lowest for an NFC Championship game in the past four years.
But the price for this game is much higher than for the Falcons’ divisional playoff game Sunday against the Seahawks. The average cost of tickets on the re-sale market for those games was $163.69 and the get-in cost was $152.80, according to TiqIQ.
VIEW FROM SAN FRANCISCO
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News assembled a panel of track experts to analyze the long-legged stride of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“He’s a freak in the same way that Usain Bolt is a freak,” former Olympic sprinter Ato Boldon said.
Kaepernick is 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds with a lanky motion that propels him surprisingly fast across the field. He ran for 181 yards in San Francisco’s victory against Green Bay on Saturday, setting an NFL record for a quarterback.
“The most impressive thing is that he has a true, efficient sprint motion when he runs,” Fred Harvey, the track coach at the University of Arizona, said.
If we were to list all of the reasons the Falcons morphed from a potential Super Bowl contender to the flotsam and jetsam of the NFL this season, Steven Jackson’s exploding hamstring would not rank first or second.