Three takeaways from Falcons’ win over Rams

There had to be a sense of deja vu for the Falcons.

The Falcons let an early double-digit lead slip away before holding on for a 26-13 victory over the Rams on Saturday in an NFC wild-card game at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Atlanta (11-6) advances to play at Philadelphia in next weekend’s NFC divisional round.

The Vikings will face the winner of Sunday’s Panthers-Saints showdown in the divisional round next Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET.

No one got fired.

“I kept listening in the minor leagues, and even earlier than that,” he explains, “people would say, ‘If you don’t hit the fastball, you’re not going to get to the big leagues.’ Every game you’re going to get a fastball. I haven’t seen a guy that throws 20 breaking balls out of 20 pitches. One or two of those are going to be a fastball. And you have to be ready to hit it.”

Here’s the real difficulty of pitching to Altuve: He batted .350 against fastballs, but he also hit .337 against off-speed pitches, making him the only player in baseball among the top 10 in both categories. Pitchers facing him must choose between the arsenic or the hemlock. He hit .344 against righthanded pitchers and .353 against lefthanders; .347 in the first half, .344 in the second; .338 versus starters, .363 versus relievers; .342 with the bases empty, .350 with runners on.

An inside story: Altuve, Correa and leftfielder Marwin González sat around the clubhouse after a win in Minnesota on May 29. Altuve was hitting .308, Correa was hitting .311 and González was hitting .311. So Altuve came up with an idea.

But for now, it’s probably safer to trust Tomlin when he says Brown will play Sunday.

The New England Patriots will be on the practice field, weaponized winter storms be damned. And Bill Belichick made it clear to his players they better not be late for work.

“You certainly better leave yourself enough time to get here on time tomorrow,” special teams ace Matthew Slater cautioned. “We all know there is weather. Coach has mentioned that several times to the team, so I wouldn’t want to be the guy who is late tomorrow.”

Getting around in these conditions is no joke, even in a place that’s not unfamiliar with blizzards. Crappy roads mean more driving time. If you don’t have a garage, you’ve got to add more time to your commute to get the snow and ice scraped off the windows and the car warm enough to sit in.

If you’re late, none of those things will be enough to get a pass from football’s greatest task master.

In 2009, Belichick sent home Randy Moss and three other players who were late to practice because of the weather.

Safety Devin McCourty applied that lesson to his choice of domicile.patriots_036_28860665926e528d-180x180

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