The Falcons loomed as the only unbeaten team remaining in the NFL, but they entered Sunday's game at Philadelphia as an underdog.
Perception lurked greater than reality: The Eagles as NFC heavyweight, having gained a berth to the conference championship game five times in head coach Andy Reid's first 13 seasons; the Falcons as pretender, having gone 0-3 in the playoffs in Mike Smith's first four seasons.
It remains to be seen if the Falcons' 30-17 dismantling of the Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field changes those perceptions, but the Atlanta, at 7-0, has the look of a team turning the corner -- even if only a playoff win ultimately proves that.
For one, the Falcons in recent seasons had struggled with the Eagles, losing three straight until last year. Even in their 13-3 season of 2010, they got hammered in Philly, 31-17.
But in the aftermath of Sunday's game, the Falcons have put some dents in the Eagles' armor when it comes to head-to-head play. For one, they became t...