There are no more excuses for the Dirty Birds
As the Falcons’ training camp begins, it’s easy to look back at last two seasons and wonder why Atlanta, with all of the opportunities it had, was unable to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. And there are, at least, a few reasons that we can pinpoint as to why Atlanta fell short.
In 2016-17, the Falcons were a young, inexperienced team, not ready to handle the pressure that it takes to finish off a Super Bowl (that might be a reach, but lack of experience certainly contributed).
In 2017-18, it was offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian’s first year, and the team also dealt with a bit of an injury bug.
This season, there will be no excuse if the Falcons deliver anything less than a championship.
This is unarguably the most talented roster Atlanta has ever had coming into a season. Atlanta boasts a core consisting of an MVP-winning quarterback, one of the two best receivers in the world, and one of the most versatile running back tandems in the league, and that doesn’t even mention the other side of the ball.
The Falcons finished ninth in defensive rating last year, a figure which will only improve as young stars like Deion Jones (who could start to enter the conversation for the league’s best linebacker) and Keanu Neal continue their rapid development.
In Sarkisian’s second year, there should be more offensive cohesion and better trust between he and Matt Ryan. After all, we all know what happened in Kyle Shanahan’s second year. If Sarkisian doesn’t show signs of improvement early on in the season, the team has already said it won’t hesitate to find someone else for the job.
In short, all signs say that if the Falcons are ever going to deliver a championship in the Ryan-Jones era, this year will be the best chance they have to do it. Heck, the Super Bowl itself will be in the Peach State this season, and the Falcons could become the first team in history to win the game on their home field.
Thomas Dimitroff has done his job. The talent is there. The experience is there as well.
The city of Atlanta needs a championship. Badly. Every person in the 404 knows the pain that was felt on the morning of February 6th, 2017. And there’s only one way the Falcons can make it up to all of us.
It’s now or never.
Jackson Stone – @tdjs_network