Six Points: No surprise

Cris Carter
Yahoo! Sports

Yahoo! Sports' Cris Carter puts six points on the board in the aftermath of Saturday's 47-17 Falcons divisional playoff drubbing of the Rams.

1. Awesome Rossum
I saw Allen Rossum's big night coming. The Rams' special teams are ranked near the bottom of the league. Any time a team's defense struggles like the Rams have this season, they're also going to struggle on special teams because they lack defensive players.

And the Falcons focus on their kick returns to shorten the field. You get return yards like that, you don't need to throw the ball downfield as much because you're starting with a short field. You have to add this to the equation when you're talking about what the Falcons do offensively.

2. Fast start was key
Atlanta's fast start, which allowed the Falcons to do what they wanted offensively, was the key to the game. When they can play-action and run the football, Michael Vick gets on track early. They rolled from there.

3. A different standard
I thought Vick did a good job. You have to analyze his performances with a different set of rules than you use for a Peyton Manning or Daunte Culpepper; he makes so many other plays. The rushing yards are easy to chart, but how many times did the Rams almost have him sacked and he saved them yards? Or when he executed a play-fake, how many defenders paused for a second? Vick gives you a lot of different things other quarterbacks can't do.

4. Tricky, tricky
Jim Mora Jr. gives Atlanta an edge; they're tough but they're loose. That return play that Rossum scored on was great! Even though they might not do it again, you have to prepare for it as an opposing coach, which takes time away from other things.

5. Not all bad
You can't say this was a bad finish to the season for St. Louis. The Rams were on the road, missing Isaac Bruce. They beat Seattle ... St. Louis needs to figure out who's its running back and someone to rush the passer other than Leonard Little. But this is not a devastating loss for the Rams.

6. No surprise
Don't be surprised if the Falcons represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. They have the most dangerous player in the NFC. And it's set up perfectly for them, the way they play defense. Atlanta will play either Philadelphia or Minnesota next Sunday; neither team has a great running game. Against teams like that, the Falcons are really able to key on rushing the passer. They gave up some yards Saturday, but they pounded Marc Bulger pretty good.

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