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FalconJim

In Case You Missed It, A Pretty Good Article From Mark Bradley, From AJC.

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So which is the surprising part? That a team expected to be good has, for consecutive Sundays, seemed a good team? That a coach who less than three years ago took the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl has turned this into an aggregation that appears to know what it’s doing? That a team recently keeping company with the Bengals and Dolphins in the chase for the No. 1 pick just beat the Saints and Panthers by a combined score of 55-12? Answer: Both parts are equally stunning.

The Falcons should never have been 1-7, but a 1-7 team doesn’t often correct itself with such oomph. Over eight games, the Falcons were outscored by 94 points in first halves. Over the past two, they’ve outscored their opponents 33-6. A team that once ranked last in points allowed has gone 10 quarters without yielding a touchdown. The Falcons had seven sacks over eight games; they’ve mustered 11 in two. They had two interceptions over nine games; they had four Sunday. 

The Falcons didn’t get to 1-7 by losing a string of games at the bitter end. Yeah, they were unlucky that a kicker, since cut, missed what would have been a tying PAT in Phoenix, but they needed a fourth-down touchdown, a fourth-down stop and a Nelson Agholor drop to outlast the Eagles. In a league where games invariably come down to the final possession, the Falcons were done after two quarters. 

This team earned its 1-7. It also has earned its post-bye 2-0. Not many Falcons seasons yield wins in both New Orleans and Charlotte. The Super Bowl crew of 2016 did that double, and now this 3-7 team has, and yes, that’s the first sentence you’ve read lately that draws a comparison between the two. There wasn’t much chance a team of such talent would finish 2-14, but thumping Carolina has made it impossible to discount what happened in the Superdome. Doing the same thing twice suggests that something has indeed changed. 

Here we ask: Is Dan Quinn a miracle worker for turning a 1-7 team into something bright and shiny, or is he the prince of dunces for needing half a season to figure out which coach should do what? (Is it possible to be both?) We’ve gone from wondering how in the world DQ hadn’t been fired to asking, “Can these guys run the table?” 

When linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich — he’s also the defensive play-caller on first and second downs, though not on third; with the Falcons, it’s complicated — suggested last week that this team was “setting up an opportunity to create a story people are going to want to read,” an eye-roll was the appropriate response. After Carolina, fewer eyes are rolling. Mathematically, the Falcons can finish 9-7. There has been a 9-7 wild-card qualifier in five of the past seven seasons. 

The Falcons have scant chance of winning the NFC South. New Orleans leads them by five games with six remaining. FiveThirtyEight still sets their playoff chances at less than 1 percent, meaning a lot of people would have to do a lot of losing for 9-7 to work. Five NFC teams have won eight games. Two more have won six. There are six playoff berths per conference. We’re three Falcons wins from having a serious conversation, but the next three games are at home. If they can get to 6-7, their odds won’t be less than 1 percent any longer. 

We pause to consider what these fingers just typed: “If they can get to 6-7 ...” Just doing that would require a team that lost seven in a row to win five without reversal. That would have sounded nuts two weeks back; it still sounds wildly optimistic. Good teams don’t get to be 1-7, and bad teams don’t go 5-0. Thing is, the Falcons don’t seem bad anymore. Oh, and two of those home games will be against opponents that were just routed; the third is against Tampa Bay. Local precedent: In Year 1 under Dan Reeves, the 1997 Falcons started 1-7; they finished 7-9, and that was with losing their final game in Phoenix. They weren’t eliminated from playoff consideration until the penultimate weekend, and then only when Detroit’s Herman Moore caught a touchdown pass against Minnesota with three seconds left. For a franchise that had had two winning seasons and five head coaches since 1982, that team was a happy surprise. As these fingers typed back then: “When was the last time you hungered to see more, as opposed to a whole lot less, of the Falcons?”  As of noon on Nov. 9, we’d seen too much of these Falcons. All that remained was to learn how high they’d pick come April and what new coach/general manager would make the choice. Nine days later, we’re all going, “Wait a minute,” and waiting is the only prudent course. Nobody saw 1-7 coming. Nobody saw this, either.
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16 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

Oh let's not start with the 'offseason momentum' thing again.

I thought the start to this  season proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that doesn't exist.

Momentum is absolutely a real thing. This season should prove that to any and all naysayers. 

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I can't believe I'm confidently saying this at 3-7 - And every game from here on out will be hard fought as word gets around that we are now THE trap game - But 49ers in SF might be the only foreseeable blip remaining. 

Stranger things have happened, but this could be a season to remember.  And for all the good reasons.

Edited by Maltese Falcon
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I still worry about New Orleans on Thanksgiving.  4 days later after what I'm sure will be a hard fought game against Tampa Bay....  the swamp raps will be looking for revenge

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15 minutes ago, Vandy said:

Momentum is absolutely a real thing. This season should prove that to any and all naysayers. 

Off-season momentum?

You mean that thing where a team wins games towards the end of the season.  Takes several months off.  Changes are made in personnel and possibly coaching staff, making it a different team,  and then "hits the ground running" like it did at the end of the previous season?

Like last season?  They finished with off-season momentum, made changes in personnel and staff, and promptly started the season 1-7.

Are we talking about the same thing?

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46 minutes ago, Vandy said:

Momentum is absolutely a real thing. This season should prove that to any and all naysayers. 

Huh? This season proved the complete opposite. Those wins at the end of last year did not carry over to our 1-7 start

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30 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

Off-season momentum?

You mean that thing where a team wins games towards the end of the season.  Takes several months off.  Changes are made in personnel and possibly coaching staff, making it a different team,  and then "hits the ground running" like it did at the end of the previous season?

Like last season?  They finished with off-season momentum, made changes in personnel and staff, and promptly started the season 1-7.

Are we talking about the same thing?

I don't think off-season momentum exists for a team that scraped together three wins against the Cardinals, Bucs, and Panthers - teams with a 2018 record of 15-33. I don't think it's a thing when one of those wins required a historic comeback, you follow it up by firing your OC and DC, and you pay Beasley an undeserved 13m. I don't think it's a thing when you ignore all but one weakness - your OL - in the off-season.

I do think it's a thing if blowing out two division rivals on the road - both with winning records - turns into a 6-2 or better end to the season. I think it's a thing if the combination of individuals that led to this turnaround is retained and hones what works. I think it's a thing if we use our massive draft capital well and make good moves in the off-season. 

There's a lot that still has to happen to say this team will have "momentum" going into next season. You can't gut a team and still have momentum; that's why acting like we would after last year doesn't make sense. But look at the 1997 Falcons. Started 1-7, ended 6-2. Kept what they had to finish the season going. 1998 was a special year. Marked by typical Falcons dumb****ery at the end, but a special year regardless. I think if we keep the defensive arrangement we have right now and close the season strong, then have a good off-season...absolutely, we could have great momentum.

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1 hour ago, FalconJim said:

We pause to consider what these fingers just typed: “If they can get to 6-7 ...” Just doing that would require a team that lost seven in a row to win five without reversal. That would have sounded nuts two weeks back; it still sounds wildly optimistic. Good teams don’t get to be 1-7, and bad teams don’t go 5-0. Thing is, the Falcons don’t seem bad anymore.

This is what I keep saying. The tone of this entire team has shifted in just two games. The fact that we're even potentially in play for a .500 record is asinine. You couldn't have told me after the Seahawks game this team would sniff 3-7. With the next three at home, if they hold court at home, we're literally talking a 6-7 record with JAX, SF, and TB left. It's no longer far fetched. But the biggest IF will be if they keep playing like they have the last two weeks. 

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3 minutes ago, Francis York Morgan said:

I don't think off-season momentum exists for a team that scraped together three wins against the Cardinals, Bucs, and Panthers - teams with a 2018 record of 15-33. I don't think it's a thing when one of those wins required a historic comeback, you follow it up by firing your OC and DC, and you pay Beasley an undeserved 13m. I don't think it's a thing when you ignore all but one weakness - your OL - in the off-season.

I do think it's a thing if blowing out two division rivals on the road - both with winning records - turns into a 6-2 or better end to the season. I think it's a thing if the combination of individuals that led to this turnaround is retained and hones what works. I think it's a thing if we use our massive draft capital well and make good moves in the off-season. 

There's a lot that still has to happen to say this team will have "momentum" going into next season. You can't gut a team and still have momentum; that's why acting like we would after last year doesn't make sense. But look at the 1997 Falcons. Started 1-7, ended 6-2. Kept what they had to finish the season going. 1998 was a special year. Marked by typical Falcons dumb****ery at the end, but a special year regardless. I think if we keep the defensive arrangement we have right now and close the season strong, then have a good off-season...absolutely, we could have great momentum.

Hind site is 20/20, right?

Sure now we look back and say it doesn't make sense but at the end of last season no one was saying that.

All we know about next season is one thing.  It's going to be a different team.  The roster will be different.  If the Falcons continue with this defensive Renaissance other organizations are going to start sniffing around Morris and Ulbrich so there's no guarantee the staff will be the same either.

 And the Falcons didn't gut the roster in the offseason and bring in an entirely new scheme.  Quinn just took over the D and made tweaks to the old scheme that he later had to scrap.  They went on a winning streak at the end of last season that in no way shape or form translated to this season.

It's going to be the same for next season.  How you finish one season doesn't have any indication of how you play the next.  There are far too many examples from the Falcons alone.  

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2 hours ago, Vandy said:

Momentum is absolutely a real thing. This season should prove that to any and all naysayers. 

Pretty sure we are talking about cross seasonal momentum. Which is as fictitious as Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, tooth fairy and Michael Turner saying no to a burger.

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There is no season to season momentum.

What there is sometimes, is signs that players are catching on to a new scheme with a new coach.  So a team that goes 2-6 in the first 8 games, and 6-2 in the last 8, with new coaches and schemes....they're probably more like a 12-4 team when the next year starts.  But that's not momentum, that's just the team catching on.

The same thing happens if you have a lot of rookies (particularly including QB) where you might look bad at the beginning of the year, but players improve and you're a different team at the end of the year.

Neither of those are momentum, but just players new to the league or new to the scheme getting caught up.

But with a vet team and coaches?  No carryover.  

Also why this season is just so weird.  If we'd been decent over the 1st half of the season (4-4) we'd be looking at the possibility of making a run.  But we were just getting eviscerated.

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8 hours ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

Off-season momentum?

You mean that thing where a team wins games towards the end of the season.  Takes several months off.  Changes are made in personnel and possibly coaching staff, making it a different team,  and then "hits the ground running" like it did at the end of the previous season?

Like last season?  They finished with off-season momentum, made changes in personnel and staff, and promptly started the season 1-7.

Are we talking about the same thing?

I’m talking about momentum in general. Bad coaching can kill it, which is exactly what happened from end of last year until start of this year. That’s inarguable.

Don’t know nor care if you are a Tanker Boy.  But FTR, my position is Tanking is such a silly proposition in NFL...and again, this season proves that as well.

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3 hours ago, MAD597 said:

Huh? This season proved the complete opposite. Those wins at the end of last year did not carry over to our 1-7 start

See above.

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5 minutes ago, Vandy said:

I’m talking about momentum in general. Bad coaching can kill it, which is exactly what happened from end of last year until this year.

Don’t know nor care if you are a Tanker Boy. FTR, my position is Tanking is such a silly proposition in NFL...

In season momentum,  agree 100%.

It's when you go 7 months between games where I have doubts.

I'm not saying they should tank.  I have rather enjoyed these last 2 games.

I'm saying, while enjoyable, it's very unfortunate that it took them this long to turn it around.  The hole is too deep to climb out of.  As good as the defense is looking ultimately it's a wasted opportunity because it's going to be a different team next season.  

TD & Quinn could repeat the off-season from 2017 - 2018 and think that the pass rush ended up being so good they don't need as many guys and let go of crucial depth on the dline.  The defense could be good next season but we've been thinking that every year since 2015.  Shame me once....

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1 hour ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

In season momentum,  agree 100%.

It's when you go 7 months between games where I have doubts.

I'm not saying they should tank.  I have rather enjoyed these last 2 games.

I'm saying, while enjoyable, it's very unfortunate that it took them this long to turn it around.  The hole is too deep to climb out of.  As good as the defense is looking ultimately it's a wasted opportunity because it's going to be a different team next season.  

TD & Quinn could repeat the off-season from 2017 - 2018 and think that the pass rush ended up being so good they don't need as many guys and let go of crucial depth on the dline.  The defense could be good next season but we've been thinking that every year since 2015.  Shame me once....

Same page. 

My original point wasn’t really about momentum between seasons per se, but a subtle shot at those who claim Mo isn’t real....

as well as my usual shot....every chance I get.....at all the Tankers Boys in general. 
 

Selah.....

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Tanking looks great on paper but it creates the wrong type of culture. You want a team full of guys that are going to fight no matter the score or situation. Why do you think these elite training programs for navy seals is so tough? They are looking for the guys that have the mental and physical toughness to withstand the toughest circumstances. You don’t want guys that will quit at the first sign of adversity. It is the same with football teams.

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1 hour ago, Jpg428gggg said:

Tanking looks great on paper but it creates the wrong type of culture. You want a team full of guys that are going to fight no matter the score or situation. Why do you think these elite training programs for navy seals is so tough? They are looking for the guys that have the mental and physical toughness to withstand the toughest circumstances. You don’t want guys that will quit at the first sign of adversity. It is the same with football teams.

Explains alot about life really.

The reality is everyone on here will go through some sought of hardship.How you deal with it will say a lot about a person and there make up.

There will be those who’ll fight to the bitter end result regardless because of there mental make up then there are others who’ll just say it’s to hard and just look for the easy out.Or they’ll play the blame game telling everyone who’ll listen that it’s someone else’s fault.

Basically finding a reason not to instead of the right reason to do it.

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21 hours ago, takeitdown said:

There is no season to season momentum.

What there is sometimes, is signs that players are catching on to a new scheme with a new coach.  So a team that goes 2-6 in the first 8 games, and 6-2 in the last 8, with new coaches and schemes....they're probably more like a 12-4 team when the next year starts.  But that's not momentum, that's just the team catching on.

The same thing happens if you have a lot of rookies (particularly including QB) where you might look bad at the beginning of the year, but players improve and you're a different team at the end of the year.

Neither of those are momentum, but just players new to the league or new to the scheme getting caught up.

But with a vet team and coaches?  No carryover.  

Also why this season is just so weird.  If we'd been decent over the 1st half of the season (4-4) we'd be looking at the possibility of making a run.  But we were just getting eviscerated.

"Eviscerated"???  Not sure what that means, and without looking it up, it DOES NOT SOUND GOOD!!!  :lol: 

But yeah, if we had been able to go 4-4 the first half, we'd be at 7-7 now, with 6 games to go (5 of 'em at home) and possibly looking to making a run....Wild Card, for sure! 



 

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On 11/18/2019 at 2:19 PM, Gee-Q said:

I still worry about New Orleans on Thanksgiving.  4 days later after what I'm sure will be a hard fought game against Tampa Bay....  the swamp raps will be looking for revenge


Oh, no doubt, it will be a DOG FIGHT!!!  But hopefully, we can take care of Tampon Bay easily at home, and come out on top, with no injuries!!! 



 

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