Recently I posted a 'what if' statement regarding whether we'll have football in 2011 or not. I certainly hope we do, but this is more along the lines of post-Super Bowl thought processes than anything.
When the clock struck 0:00 in JerryLand two weeks ago, 30 teams had their hopes renewed. (One team had their dreams come true and one team was very sad.) For those 30 teams, the 0:00 meant that there was hope again (Ok, maybe like 20 teams.) and that work for a brighter 2011 season could begin.
Out of all those teams, our Falcons stand to potentially gain or lose the most in the next calendar year.
Want to know why? You know what to do.Our season can be effectively broken into two parts: Greatness (13-3) and toilet (0-1). During greatness, we showed flashes of resiliency and heart attack inconsistency. We scraped by some 'ehh' teams and we played tooth and nail against good teams.
With the league in such a state of parity, it's hard to believe we'll repeat the 13 win regular season we had last year. I don't think we'll fall far (11 wins is reasonable) but our division rivals could easily stomp us into the dirt. We're the NFCS Champs and we're going to be getting it from every team every week, for sure. We certainly have a lot to lose and if we don't develop the killer instinct we need, we could be on the outside looking in.
That said, we have so much to gain. We were thoroughly embarrassed against Green Bay in Round 2. Make no mistake, that playoff game could not have been any worse. (Don't get smart with me. Be realistic.) It stands to reason that we'll make the playoffs again next year, so really, all we can do is go up.
We are so lucky to have the team that we have. Yeah, we flopped in the playoffs, but that's happened before. (I think one of the Super Bowls the Bills were in was one that they lost like 42-7 or something like that.) At least we put up some kinda fight in our game, awful as it was.
Our QB is an anomaly. Yeah, Peyton was maybe better in year 3, but he's also an exception to the rule. Matty's good and he's good already. Makes you wonder how good Aaron Rodgers would be if he was thrown into the fire as a rook.
We're also very lucky to have the front office that we have. We have a truly incredible GM who's made almost zero negative moves since he got here three years ago. He's hit home runs with just about every player he's brought aboard. He gave Grimes a chance despite his size. He let Nicholas go be with his baby son in his time of need. He placed complete faith in a young kid from BC to lead us to the promised land, and by George, he has gotten us close.
Our coach is patient, intelligent, but he's also fiery. He's a no nonsense coach that'll stick up for his players through thick and thin. Folks, we're a few small steps away from being truly dominant in the NFC. The formula is there. Not even the Eagles will be able to withstand us for much longer. We didn't get to 13-3 by hocus pocus.
Remember the years when we were just waiting for everything to be over with even before training camp started?
In comparison, this sure does feel awesome, doesn't it?