The Falcons have won one game now what? Should we make accommodations for the Super Bowl and pay in advance with no options for a refund. Or plan the celebratory parade down Peachtree, not so fast. Just like losing one game, there is no reason to go off the deep end; fourteen more has to be played. Granted it’s great to get one under the belt.
Yes, the win should be celebrated; it was well earned. But, and there is always one of those.
Let’s recap; a wide-open Nelson Agholor dropped a potentially game-winning touchdown pass. On 4th and 15, defensively a mental break down that allowed the Eagles to pick up 34 yards and a first down. On 4th and 8, they came up one yard short. Credit the defense, they wanted it. They fought for it with impressive determination and grit. The character of the Brotherhood was on full display.
8 penalties in the first half, 3 interceptions, one at a critical time, the offensive line gave up four tackles for loss, and they were beaten in the trenches. Yet they won, and that’s the most important thing, a win, is a win, if only by one point. After the thorough beat down last week in Minnesota, this one was great for the psyche of the team.
Matt Ryan said,” I think it’s important when you go through these tough battles against good teams. It doesn’t always go your way. I mean, there are ups and downs, you kind of find a way to battle through that and get the job done. Those are the things that good teams do, and you find ways to get it done when it’s not perfect. I think that is good for the psyche of our team. It’s going to help us in critical situations as we move forward, the more you do it, the more you are successfully doing it, the more confident you are going to be when you are in those situations.”
Just like putting a puzzle together, you try different pieces; some fit some don’t work. In football, you may have the correct pieces, but they get injured, rarely, If ever, two pieces in the box fit perfectly. So you have to go with plan b. And there may be some challenges.
If you can see your mistakes through good film study, and a stern hand from the coaching staff you shouldn’t make the same mistakes. Using the process of elimination, better performance is projected. Let’s not forget the Falcons have a new but old defensive coordinator in head coach Dan Quinn. They have a new offensive coordinator on familiar grounds, in Dirk Koetter which, by the way, called an excellent game. It took a little while, but when he realized the Eagles game plan was to take advantage of the makeshift offensive line with full pressure using the cover zero technique, translation, send everybody except the safety.
The Eagles went for broke which is why Julio Jones burned them on the 54-yard game-winning touchdown reception. All he needed was one block, immediately; it was a footrace to the goal line. The defender had no chance against the world-class sprinter that happens to be the best wide receiver in football.
With all the changes in the coaching staff and new players building chemistry takes time. In society, patience is no longer a virtue Falcon fans are in the win-now mode. They tasted Super Bowl Pie and are starving for more. Realistically in the first half of the season, 4-4 sounds good, granted 5-3 would be better. Remember the keyword realistically.
Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcels made the term famous “just get into the tournament; anything can happen.” I am going to say just get to the back eight with at least a 50-50 record.
Allow me to interject the term peeking at the right time, and that’s going into the playoffs. Not at the beginning of the season.
Should a flower bloom too early it withers and dies too soon. In the history of the NFL, there has been only one undefeated Super Bowl Champion. The pressure to be perfect means maintaining the momentum for the entire season. In college, the team designated #1 before the first snap of the season rarely wins the National Championship unless it’s Alabama.
My point football is indeed the ultimate team sport everybody has to understand their role so they can execute to their full potential. Falcon fans buckle your chin straps the road might be a little bumpy, but I believe these Dirty Birds are going to fly into turbulence from time to time, but they will straighten up and fly. Last week was a defining moment; they never gave up; they just kept fighting and pulled out a 24-20 win over their nemesis the Philadelphia Eagles. And that’s all that matters.