The Atlanta Falcons’ 15-10 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles in conjunction with the debacle of Super Bowl LI and the Georgia Bulldogs loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game have become immiscible in context of teams in this state collapsing when the crucible is at its hottest. These devastating defeats have become so problematic for this community that hordes of individuals throughout the nation have enjoyed making fleering cachinnations at Georgia’s expense.
During the apex of the late Vince Lombardi’s career, he once uttered the axiomatic expression, “Either you are first or you are last. In our business, there is no second place.” This is not to say that Lombardi was somehow incapable of understanding that not every team can be champions, but he used these maxims as a source of motivation to remind his club that just making a good run at the end of a season is not sufficient in achieving success.
Of course, the Falcons may have been placed behind the proverbial eight ball when Las Vegas decided to make Atlanta a slim favorite on the line in an endeavor to make wagering more balanced. Some experts felt that Philadelphia, a home underdog, was in position for a defeat when their young gun quarterback Carson Wentz suffered an unfortunate injury during the regular season. Yes, Nick Foles was a serviceable replacement with experience; Foles just was not the kind of force majeure that would cause people to bet the ranch.
While the Atlanta Falcons may not have suffered the Super Bowl katzenjammer that is often prescribed to those suffering defeat in the World Championship of Professional Football, they were not capable of sustaining excellence with any consistency at all during the season. The offensive line was certainly offensive throughout the year with breakdowns that made Matt Ryan feel like a tiptoe burglar behind the line of scrimmage.
As a result, some of Ryan’s passes were inaccurate partially due in part to the impending jailbreak that was in front of him. This had an adverse effect on the rushing attack because open holes were sometimes not forthcoming. Of course, Atlanta’s receiving corps did not always make the best accounting of themselves when the football arrived in their vicinity only to bounce off their hands like a brick wall resulting in costly interceptions as well.
Defensively, the Falcons were improved with a few heavy hitters who were willing to cross the line on occasion attempting to intimidate receivers and ball carriers alike crossing their path. Atlanta did incur injuries like most teams in the National Football League, but the defensive unit needs to become a little more wild animal within the ranks to change perceptions of them henceforth as just being another “dome” team.
The Falcons struck gold with the completion of the colossus known as the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in design, function, and amenities. Fans are still waiting for them to “earn” their allegiance with dominance that is sustainable for an entire game and season. If so, this is when the Mercedes-Benz Stadium will become more of a home field advantage than football’s equivalent to a stately opera house.