Coming into this season, numerous Georgians held high expectations for the Atlanta Falcons to make it to the Super Bowl, but those expectations were unrealistic given some of the significant unresolved problems. With only six regular season games remaining, the Falcons are 6-4, a record starkly disconnected from exceedingly naïve expectations. Carefully examining their record this season evinces how overrated they are.
In their first game, the Eagles should have defeated them but poor coaching by Chip Kelly led to a narrow win for the Falcons. They won a close game against the Giants, a game the Giants probably should have won. In the third game, the Cowboys dominated the first-half but imploded in the second half, resulting in a Falcons’ victory. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, arguably the most important Cowboy players, were sidelined with injuries, and those injuries proved critical to the game’s outcome. In the fourth game, the Falcons crushed the Texans and looked like the elite team many advertise. Unfortunately, the next game against the Redskins demonstrated they’re not headed to the Super Bowl: they barely defeated a mediocre at best team.
The loss to the Saints in New Orleans really exposed the Falcons’ vulnerabilities. Struggling to nearly knock off the Titans is unacceptable. Atlanta’s “potent” offense mustered only 10 points. While some will say a 10-7 win is a win, it’s not when claiming to be a Super Bowl-bound team.
Just how overrated the Atlanta Falcons are manifested itself in their last 3 games, losing to 3 underachieving teams: Buccaneers, 49ers, and Colts.
Take a look at the Falcons’ remaining schedule: Vikings (home), Buccaneers (away), Panthers (away), Jaguars (away), Panthers (home), and Saints (home). The Falcons could easily go 1-5 in their final games. That’s a challenging schedule to end the regular season.
In the draft, Atlanta had an opportunity to select beloved Georgia Bulldog running back Todd Gurley and establish a strong rushing attack. Vic Beasley was drafted instead. Yes, Vic Beasley over Todd Gurley. Todd Gurley is one of the NFL’s leading rushers. Vic Beasley, on the other hand, has played an insignificant role on the Falcons’ defense. While the desire to ameliorate a below average to average defense by choosing Vic Beasley in the first round is understandable, it doesn’t take a genius to know to draft Todd Gurley over Vic Beasley, especially considering Beasley could have been picked in the second round. Gurley is a player who can revolutionize a franchise but Beasley was unwisely viewed as more essential.
Similar to last season, the team has a below average to average defense, horrible offensive line, underachieving offense and an overrated starting quarterback, Matt Ryan. Instead referring to Ryan as “Matty Ice,” it may be more appropriate to call him “Matty Hype.” Ryan’s inconsistent play cannot lead the team to a Super Bowl. Much fanfare surrounded the arrival of Dan Quinn, but his leadership in Atlanta has been uninspiring.
At some point, many fans of the Falcons have to recognize a Super Bowl will not materialize without key off-season acquisitions.