Do Falcons need one more win for successful season?

Falcons fans deserve at least one more good moment this season. (Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com)

Falcons fans deserve at least one more good moment this season. (Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com)

Admit it, back before the Falcons had fledged this season, back in the sultry days of training camp, you would have bought an 11-win campaign, a conference championship and a single playoff game and never asked for a penny of change.

After the opener, a home loss to Tampa Bay – AJC headline that next day: NO UPGRADE SEEN YET – you might have considered the place where the Falcons find themselves today to be as fantastic and fictional as Xanadu.

But, now, of course, you want more.

They moved the sticks on what constitutes a successful season. Blame it on an offense gone wild. Blame it on the gnawing hunger that never goes away around here. Now, if the Falcons were to bow out after a single playoff home game against Seattle, they would leave behind a slightly bitter aftertaste.

How far, in theory, must the Falcons go to have this season be marked as passable?

They’ve already improved by three games over Dan Quinn’s first season, and returned to the playoffs after a three-season absence. By any reasonable measure, the whole thing could end this weekend and be deemed a very respectable step forward.

But this is sports, and reason can never seem to buy a ticket for the playoffs.

Related headlines

Having earned a home playoff game – never mind that they are one game better on the road this season – the Falcons positioned themselves as the favorite Saturday. The betting public, seldom a group to give this team the benefit of the doubt, has decided the Falcons have to give 4 to 4 ½ points. Expectation has been thoroughly fed and watered.

Quinn is 0-1 against his old employer, losing earlier this season to Seattle because Richard Sherman got away with simple battery. This is not some tomato can they are bringing in for the amusement of the masses. Nor is it exactly a proven champion the Seahawks are meeting, what with a defense that is young and untested in the ways of January, and a quarterback whose postseason passport has been stamped with but a single victory (against Seattle).

You should be quite anxious going into this game. But nevertheless you will consider it a must-win kind of event.

Just give me one more victory, you’ll say, and you’ll be satisfied that the Falcons have fulfilled their potential. There, now, it’s a successful season.

Then, should they survive, the next weekend will approach and some of you will say they have to win again to please you. You’ll want more, maybe even expect more. It’ll be the Super Bowl or bust.

That’s just how this time of year. Enjoy it while you can, this pleasurable diversion of stretching logic and reason like Silly Putty.

Reader Comments 0

34 comments
Ficklefan
Ficklefan

To answer the question, Yes!  Why? Because they have what it takes to win this one, and the next one, and maybe the one after that. When teams that have the ability to win the big games, and they do not do that -- they are a successful * franchise (*not a"successful "team"). 


The Atlanta Braves are the poster boy for being a hugely franchise, successful, but not really a "successful" team. You have got to win the big ones. The ones that really count - the ones that make you the champion. 


The Falcons can win this one today, and here in Atlanta, they should win it. CAVEAT. Whatever it is that causes SZBS (Sudden Zebra Blindness Syndrome) will hopefully not be a factor today. How the Seattle secondary gets away with so many bad calls or no calls is truly a mystery. Perhaps it was the old soup TV commercials that Sherman did with his mother. How can man who loves his mother so much be a bad actor out on the field (not only a bad actor but the worst actor when it comes to interference). 


But Falcon fans beware -  the white canes and sunglasses may suddenly come out today at the worst possible moment. Sherman, et al. are not fools and if there are close critical plays in the secondary, expect them to just tackle, push, block, hold, trip . . . whatever it takes to stop a pass play. Why?


They know that the zebras will not make a close call in a critical play if it will effect the outcome of the game. So go for it and hold or trip or block the receiver. Chances of a no call are very high. 


If the zebras do suddenly surprise everyone, wake up, and make the right call, and the play was not in the end zone, the offense still has to score from where the foul took place. If in the end zone, their chances are much better from the  two yard line, but they still have to score and stuff can still happen. 


Look for Seattle making lots of pass interference fouls today. Playing the percentages based upon the year they had and their last game with Atlanta, they are more likely to succeed than not. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Ficklefan

All that whining about the stripes--and look what happened.

The best team won after all.

Therut
Therut

dawgnole, how sad it must be to live a life so empty that all you have to keep you going is to get on a blog and argue.  So  f----ing sad.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Therut

Yet again you have nothing of substance to bring to the conversation.

And now you're sad about my life??? Stop lying, jerk.

Ric1957
Ric1957

Great year already! No one expected the Falcons to be here now!. Gives great hope for today and near future! All Falcon fans want them to win them all. 

Okeetee
Okeetee

After looking at our brutal schedule, then losing the HOME OPENER to the Buc's....we all said, "well, maybe a  nice high draft pick will be the best we can do this year!" Nobody and I mean NOBODY ever thought we'd make the playoffs, win the division, AND get a "bye" week out of this mess of a season!  But as it stands, if we don't crush the Sea Turkeys...I for one, will be somewhat disappointed! 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Okeetee

And you should be disappointed--as any true fan would be.

TOJacket, on the other hand, will be grinning like a jacka*s eating briars, delighted that his team--after half a century of postseason failure--is simply "in the mix."

And the fool probably wonders why they call his city "Losersville."

DawgNole
DawgNole

"How far, in theory, must the Falcons go to have this season be marked as passable?"

_______________

A team that's never won a championship during its entire half-century of existence must go much farther than a first-round victory to stamp this season as successful.

UNLESS, of course, you're satisfied with yet another year of "also ran" status.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@DawgNole


UNLESS, of course, you're satisfied with yet another year of "also ran" status.


-dog in a hole


You summed up the dogs perfectly.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

Did I say I was "satisfied" with UGA's status, lying hypocrite?

You, on the other hand, must contend with your shameful 0-31 performance after that clearly unjustified gift berth in the playoffs. You satisfied with that?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

I'll stop whining about 51 years without a championship when you stop applauding consistent mediocrity, loser.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole The Falcons unfortunately have to be satisfied with "also ran" fans like yourself?...stop whining.

Michaelee
Michaelee

This season set up for the falcants. They can beat any of the teams in the playoffs. Seahawks will get knocked out tomorrow.

TOJacket
TOJacket

It's a great season just to be in the mix....I would love a trip to the Super Bowl but that can be a tough row to hoe....RISE UP!!!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

Satisfaction with mediocrity--the trademark of ATL pro sports.

You and your ilk epitomize it.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

"Lowly" mutt fan???

My team owns your sorry a*s, lying coward.

How low does that make you?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

Tell the folks on the blog how you continue to dodge my question about how it feels to lose consistently to a team you call mediocre. Coward.

JB Falcon
JB Falcon

Any team or player who enters into a game with anything less than a Super Bowl as his destination does not belong in the game. 

Same thing goes for a fan. 

Hopeless in ATL
Hopeless in ATL

No, Falcons' fans are winners this year no matter what happens and the future looks really good.  The team is on fire right now and they have earned a golden opportunity to win it all.   Stay focused and drive it home Falcons!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Hopeless in ATL: ". . . the future looks really good."

______________

The future???

How the hell many times have we heard that over the past 50 years?!

It's way past time in ATL for the present to look really good!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

"Ridiculous" to expect a first-ever championship after 51 years???

Meanwhile, as you've already said, you're happy simply to "be in the mix."

You define "LOSER," and your sorry attitude is exactly what has earned ATL the disgraceful label of "Losersville."

And yes, the Dawgs are way overdue as well, dolt.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

Yup, I agree with you--incredibly.

(Is that the earth trembling beneath my feet?)

Jahenn
Jahenn

This is the time to do it ........ 2 wins and a SB trip to be successful. Panthers will rebound, Bucs are right there, so we need to get this while the window is here. Win and root for Packers so we can play for the SB here!

RONSNO
RONSNO

I see you getting to the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP game but nothing beyond that. It will be a huge step and maybe next year the SB.