What Happened To The Falcons?

Evan Craig, Staff Writer

This year has been a great year for Atlanta Sports except for one team in particular and that team is the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons can’t seem to find their “Groove” Hopefully the team can return to their old ways and find what they had in their 2017 season.  “The Atlanta Falcons are an excellent, exciting football team. That sentence shouldn’t read like a news item to anyone: the falcons just won the NFC Title after back-to-back blowouts in the playoffs and scored 71 more points than any other NFL team during the regular season. But based on the lack of early buzz around Super Bowl LI, a lot of football fans simply don’t care” This quote comes from an article posted in 2017 the article continues to state “With a 38-32 win over New Orleans, Atlanta finished 2016 with 540 points – tied with the 2000 Rams for the seventh-most an NFL club has ever scored in a single season. That output is 71 points more than any other team accumulated this year and 176 points above the league average. Week 17’s triumph also marked the 11th time Atlanta had 30-plus points, the third-most ever in an NFL season, and its five 40-plus-point efforts rank second all-time more than anything else, the Falcons reached these heights because of their efficiency. They scored 3.23 points per drive, per Football Outsiders, and gained 6.69 yards per play – both tops in the league. Matt Ryan, of course, led Atlanta to these historic numbers. In 16 games, the veteran QB finished with 4,944 yards – a new franchise record – 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions, good for league-bests in QB rating (117.1) and ESPN’s Total QBR (83.3). Just how good is that overall stat line? It made Ryan one of three NFL players (along with Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers) to throw for 3,500-plus yards and 10 or fewer INTs in a season. 

So what happened to this team they had a great season so why can’t they repeat what they had then? Nothing can change this season so they need to focus on winning on the draft. They still aren’t the worst team in the season. The Falcons have been outscored by 49 points. Several teams in previous years lost their first two games by a larger margin. A handful of those outfits turned out to be decent. Go way back, and you’ll find that one of those particularly bad 0-2 teams ended up making the playoffs. The Falcons aren’t good. That doesn’t mean they will stay bad. I don’t see a turnaround coming, but anything is possible in the NFL. And the Falcons have a stronger case than a cliche. They have one big advantage over teams that made the playoffs after getting blown out twice to start the season. The Falcons have Matt Ryan at quarterback. Some Falcons supporters wish that weren’t so. They wanted to see Ryan traded during the offseason as part of a total rebuild. But that wasn’t feasible for the Falcons because of the salary-cap implications. It wouldn’t be easy for the Falcons to trade Ryan after next season, either.