I've said this many time on this blog, but my dad is a firm believer that if you win in the trenches, you win the ballgame. I, too, share a similar view on the matter. I'm a firm believer that just about everyone who makes it to the NFL can play ball with the big boys, but it also depends on the team around them as to whether they can truly make it.
I stumbled upon this article from John Clayton which asks, "How long is too long?" for an offensive line. It would seem that when an offensive line's combined age tops 150 (that's an average of 30 years old per lineman, with generally two or three linemen above 30), the line tends to almost assuredly fall apart in the upcoming seasons.
The Falcons have continued to try and stay young on the offensive line in recent years, especially this past April, when they spent their first two draft picks on offensive linemen Peter Konz and Lamar Holmes.
Assuming Konz takes the RG position, the Falcons OL age will consist of:
C - McClure - 35
G- Blalock - 28
G - Konz - 23 (Hawley is also listed at 23 years old on the official site)
T - Clabo - 30
T - Baker - 27 (Svitek is 30)
That's a total of 143 years, assuming my math is correct, and it would seem that this will be McClure's last year, so the Falcons should be safe to avoid any curses. However, if Svitek and Manuwai start, then the Falcons O jumps to around 153, and then we're playing with danger per John Clayton's article.
If my math is wrong, I can take solace in knowing that Vin Scully said R.A. Dickey was 27 years old last night. By the way, if you ever get an opportunity, please go listen to a broadcast of a Dodgers game on TV/Radio with Vin Scully announcing. That man is incredible.
Moving right along, staying young in the offensive line is a good way to keep success going, so long as there's some chemistry and continuity along the way, rather than taking a gamble like the Ravens and Lions are doing, which could lead to disaster.