ESPN analyst says there's a surprising new NFL team to beat after early success


The Atlanta Falcons sure looked great on Sunday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers, and one NFL analyst feels the team is good enough to make another run at the Super Bowl. In fact, he thinks the Falcons are the team to beat.

Speaking on ESPN's Mike and Mike early Monday morning, Booger McFarland, a former Super Bowl champion in his own right, spoke very positively about Atlanta.

"They're the best team in the NFC. I think they're just as good as they were the lst year if not better because they've gotten a little bit better up front on defense," he said.

"I honestly think that when you look at the teams to beat, everybody said 'New England, New England, New England'. I think Atlanta is the team to beat over New England," he went on to say. 'Yeah, I'm not discounting what happened in the second half of the Super Bowl, but if you watch the first half you say 'that's no fluke', and if you look at the second half they just got tired."

McFarland went on to say that he believes Atlanta is figuring it out. They saw that they could beat up on a team like New England for a half, so they know they have what it takes to win it all. And that's where the Falcons' focus lies now, winning a Super Bowl.

McFarland thinks that kind of focus can be dangerous for teams that end up in Atlanta's path, something the Packers found out on Sunday night.


"They understand what the prize is at the end of the rainbow right now," McFarland said. "I don't want them to focus too much on it because it's a process to get there, but it's good that they understand and have those lofty goals."

The Falcons beat the Packers 34-23, but the game wasn't nearly as close as the final score makes it seem. Atlanta was mostly dominant, putting up 364 yards of total offense, and the Falcons' defense made Aaron Rodgers look pedestrian at times.

The Falcons held Rodgers to just 33-of-50 passing for 343 yards and two touchdowns. Desmond Trufant picked him off once and the Falcons also forced a fumble that Trufant took back for a touchdown early in the second half.