Though the Colts aren’t playing this weekend (and haven’t been for several weeks), one of their all-time great players was participating in the NFC Championship game. Dwight Freeney is a member of the Atlanta Falcons, who today won 44-21 over the Green Bay Packers to advance to the Super Bowl.
That means that Freeney is heading to his third Super Bowl, seven seasons after his last appearance. It’s an awesome opportunity for Freeney, and it’s hard not to be happy for him. The 36-year old has had a desire to keep playing and got a chance with the Falcons this year, where he’s played a part as a pass rusher but has also been on a team with the league’s best offense. Freeney had a good game in the NFC Championship, as according to Pro Football Focus he had four pressures.
Freeney spent the first eleven seasons of his career with the Colts, with whom he played in 163 games and recorded 107.5 sacks to go along with 44 forced fumbles. He had seven double-digit sack seasons while in Indianapolis, also making seven Pro Bowls and being a three-time first-team All-Pro. Since the Colts moved on from him after the 2012 season, Freeney has played for the Chargers (2013-2014), Cardinals (2015), and this year the Falcons. Last year he came within one game of a Super Bowl return, and this year he’s played in 15 games for Atlanta and recorded three sacks.
During his tenure in Indianapolis, Freeney was a part of two Super Bowl teams. The Colts won the Super Bowl in the 2006 season, and they made it back in the 2009 season. They lost that second game, and a significant part of it was due to an injury to Freeney. He entered the game hurt but played well in the first half, even bringing Drew Brees down one-handed for a sack, but wasn’t near as effective in the second half.
Freeney will get a chance to play in a third Super Bowl in two weeks when the Falcons try to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, and I’m sure there will be a lot of Colts fans rooting for number 93 to get one more ring. Oh, and it’d be pretty awesome to see Freeney sack Tom Brady on the Super Bowl, too.
Some Colts took to Twitter to congratulate Freeney:
Stoked for Dwight Freeney— Matt (@MattOverton_LS) January 22, 2017