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Win or lose, here’s 10 reasons to feel optimistic about these Atlanta Falcons


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http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2017/1/21/14310956/10-reasons-to-feel-optimistic-atlanta-falcons-2017-and-beyond

 

Win or lose, here’s 10 reasons to feel optimistic about these Atlanta Falcons

11

There’s never long-term guarantees with any team, but the Falcons are well-positioned for the immediate future.

by Dave Choate  Jan 21, 2017, 6:00pm EST
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As you know by now, I predicted that the Falcons will lose this game to the Packers. As you also know by now, this has been probably my most pessimistic year in a long while, and I still thought this team would be better than it has been in some time and win a playoff game. When it comes to the team I’ve loved since I was a kid, I’m an inveterate optimist.

That will be the case for this team’s future whether they win or lose in the NFC Conference Championship Game, because this team has already clearly indicated how talented they are, and that they have a blueprint to succeed that really is as simple as being fast and physical (and, you know, good).

I’ve rounded up ten reasons you should feel optimistic about this team’s future. If they win this game, go ahead and add “headed to a Super Bowl in Dan Quinn’s second season as their head coach” as the 11th item on this list.

 

  1. There is, in my humble opinion, no question about Dan Quinn’s acumen as a head coach, as there was a year ago. He’s shown himself to be a master motivator, solid tactician, and above all, excellent at assembling a staff and reading talent. With his in-game decisions improving in his second season and a good eye for the kinds of players and coaches he needs to make this a successful team,
  2. The personnel department is in great shape, as well. We had some fun with the Falcons for adding a million former general managers in the offseason, but they knocked it out of the park with this draft and free agency class, and they did well in the the 2014 and 2015 drafts, as well. Aside from Nick Polk, it appears this front office will be mostly intact next year.
  3. This team is, if not loaded, at least well-stocked with young talent. As DW noted on the podcast the other day, the Falcons had eight out of 11 starters on defense who were in their first or second year as a starter, and many of those players are under 25 years of age. On offense, they have Tevin Coleman, Devonta Freeman, Taylor Gabriel, Austin Hooper, and Josh Perkins, among others, to pave the way forward.
  4. They have Matt Ryan, soon-to-be the reigning NFL MVP and playing in a system (and with a supporting cast) that plays to his strengths. As long as his body holds out, he should be able to give this team a few more great seasons.
  5. They have the NFL’s best running back tandem. Devonta Freeman is under contract through next year, while Tevin Coleman is under contract through the 2019 offseason. The team essentially has two feature backs who are strong, fast, and can catch the ball, where many teams are lucky to have one.
  6. They have one of the NFL’s best young pass rushers in Vic Beasley, and an extremely capable defensive tackle in Grady Jarrett. They need another couple of pieces on the line to join those two, quite obviously, but it’s a very solid start.
  7. Their linebackers are better than they’ve been in years, already. Deion Jones is a legitimate rookie of the year candidate, De’Vondre Campbell has shown flashes of excellence, and they’re likely to add an interesting player or two to the mix in this coming offseason.
  8. The secondary is about as good and deep as it has been in recent memory. With Trufant back, the Falcons have four good cornerbacks, one of the best young strong safeties in the league, and a capable free safety who may actually be getting some competition just because Atlanta can afford to do so.
  9. There are very few impact free agents hitting the street for the Falcons next year, with only Taylor Gabriel and Patrick DiMarco looking like truly vital re-signings. Chris Chester, Jacob Tamme, Kemal Ishmael, and Dwight Freeney are other players I’d like to see return, but while the list is fairly long, it’s thankfully not stocked with key pieces.
  10. They’re one win away from the Super Bowl. That simply doesn’t happen unless you’re a good team, even if the Falcons are still not yet a truly complete one.

A win here has this team facing either the Patriots and Steelers in the biggest game of all, and while I’m awfully leery of New England, they can win that game on a good day regardless of which team they face. That’s not a sentence any of us would have typed before this season, and it’s indicative of just how far this Falcons team has come.

 
 

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For so many reasons, there are obviously no guarantees in the NFL. Even granting you that, this team’s 2017 season looks incredibly bright, and we might just be looking at the start of something special for years to come, too.

 
 
 
 

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8 minutes ago, Godzilla1985 said:

If we lose tomorrow I have little optimism about this team. Offense  is going to take a significant step back next season.

I'm still optimistic, but on the other hand, if we can't seal the deal with THIS team, as good as it is, it makes you wonder. Although you have to consider the D should be better next year. And hopefully the O doesn't drop off too much. Not sure you can sustain a 'historical offense' year after year, although you can maintain a high level of productivity a la the Patriots. 

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Just now, fuego said:

I'm still optimistic, but on the other hand, if we can't seal the deal with THIS team, as good as it is, it makes you wonder. Although you have to consider the D should be better next year. And hopefully the O doesn't drop off too much. Not sure you can sustain a 'historical offense' year after year, although you can maintain a high level of productivity a la the Patriots. 

I agree but this would be mentally devastating to a team to get to this point and not finish. It's like "**** we have to start this over for 16+games next year.

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40 minutes ago, Godzilla1985 said:

If we lose tomorrow I have little optimism about this team. Offense  is going to take a significant step back next season.

How tho you acting like Shanahan is god or something Mike McDaniels still we be here.  All our offensive weapons will be back and Offensive line besides a upgrade at RG.  We definitely will still be a top 5 offense

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21 minutes ago, Rise said:

Same thing could've been said about "How bright The Panthers' future could be"...

 

Win now....

Not the same at all. Cam Newton is not a pocket QB or as astute at the line as Ryan. They have an old RB. They do not have any stud WR. Their secondary is in shambles. Their coach is questionable.

So no. Not the same. 

But point taken on winning now 

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13 minutes ago, NeonDeion said:

Weak sauce writing that article and then picking the pack.

Unless you're the Pats, you don't get a lot of shots in the NFL.

CAR, SEA, and DAL can all be back next year. GB can be healthy.

We are on the precipice. Gotta seize it now while it's there for the taking.

Trufant will return...defense will be better, but depth may be less at LB and D-Line.

Shelby returns...

loaded secondary..

Veterans will be interested to sign for a chance to finish their careers with a chance to win.

 

Still, some of the best franchises just continue to scout and draft well...

 

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1 hour ago, fuego said:

Nice way to cover picking the Packers to beat us. Write an article on how we should be optimistic regardless.

Don't get me wrong, we have every reason to be optimistic even if we lose. But the article seems kind of self-serving.

That whole article just didn't compute. He starts off saying he picked the Packers and then goes into how great the team is, and finishes by saying the Falcons could beat either the Pats or Steelers if they did get to the SB? He's trying to play both sides of the fense.

I strongly suspect he isn't feeling the feeling that there's a whole different feel to this team this year, if you get my drift. Or maybe he's been hanging out with Bomani Jones and has turned on the home team. Anyhow, it's very odd he would pick against the Falcons when even hard-core haters are begrudgingly admitting Atlanta has clear advantages in this game and should win it. Siding with the enemy for no good reason. Treasonous, no, but definitely unacceptable. 

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1 hour ago, Godzilla1985 said:

If we lose tomorrow I have little optimism about this team. Offense  is going to take a significant step back next season.

This will be better next year not worse. As long we continue to draft at this level, there's little reason to believe that we're headed for decline.

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I've said to the guys at work all week that I will be celebrating for this squad irregardless late Sunday.  So proud to be a lifetime Falcons fan and hopefully those of us that can attend the game will stick it out with them well after the final whistle regardless as well.

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