ATLANTA – There's more to the Atlanta Falcons than Michael Vick (search).
Sure, the Falcons' one-of-a-kind quarterback put on quite a show in the NFC playoffs, throwing two touchdown passes and running for 119 yards. But his teammates managed to escape Vick's considerable shadow, putting Atlanta within one win of the Super Bowl.
Warrick Dunn (search) ran for a 62-yard touchdown, Allen Rossum set an NFL playoff record for punt returns and Atlanta routed the St. Louis Rams 47-17 Saturday night.
The Falcons advanced to the NFC championship game for only the second time in the franchise's 39-year history. They will either host Minnesota or travel to Philadelphia next weekend for a spot in the Super Bowl.
The only other time Atlanta made it this far was the 1998 season. The "Dirty Birds" got all the way to the Super Bowl, only to get blown out by Denver in John Elway's final game.
Now, a team known mostly for its inept play is on the verge of making it to Jacksonville, Fla., with a rookie coach. And speaking of Jim Mora (search), he finally gave his family a playoff victory.
His dad, Jim Mora, took New Orleans and Indianapolis to the playoffs six times, only to go one-and-out each time. He's the only 100-win coach in NFL history without one postseason victory on his resume.
Well, his son has a 1-0 record in the playoffs — and it wasn't even close.
St. Louis won its last two regular-season games just to make the playoffs with an 8-8 mark, then knocked off NFC West champion Seattle last weekend. But the Rams ran out of gas against the Falcons, who were off last week and had not played a meaningful game in almost a month.
It didn't take long for those fresh legs to pay off, especially when matched against the Rams' woeful defense and special teams.