How Do You Root: To Tank or Not to Tank

USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons somehow scored more points than the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, finally giving the fanbase a much needed win. Yet while Matt Bryant's field goal was sailing through the air, I couldn't help but wonder if this is ruining our draft position. How many people aren't rooting for their team but rooting for the draft?

Rooting for the draft is hoping your team loses in order to get the highest draft pick possible. After your team is out of the playoff race, any additional win doesn't do much for you, except let that high draft pick slip through your fingers. Theoretically, that player turns around your franchise.

Maybe if the 2007 Falcons squeaked out one more win they would have never had a shot at taking Matt Ryan and this is a different team today. The only silver lining to that season was knowing Atlanta will have a shot at one of the best players in the draft.

Since Atlanta got mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, they haven't been competitive enough to threaten a win. You have probably seen the word "tanking" thrown around quite a bit, even all the way back to week three or four. That is alarmingly premature but there is definitely a group of fans actively rooting for their team to lose.

Nothing too complex here, but this leads to a more important question: should you be rooting for your team to tank?

Popular opinion seems to be defensive end Jadeveon Clowney would be perfect in Atlanta. He should be a top five selection so the Falcons need to race to the bottom and these wins aren't helping.

In another season or two, the game itself will become pretty meaningless. Imagine the Falcons lost one more game during the 2006 season. The Falcons then jump up a few spots in the draft and can take Adrian Peterson. Instead, Jamaal Anderson.

Watching the Falcons this year has been painful. Yesterday had some great moments... and it was almost... fun. Sort of like how football should be. Like DW said, it feels weird to be rooting against your team. I'm a fan and watch because of what they do on the field, not what the team does in the draft.

I'm not sure there is a correct answer here. The whole situation is hotter than blackmail salsa. A franchise is more than one top player. Nor has any team improved dramatically because they got that top (non-quarterback) player. The best teams in the league have few, if any, top five picks acting as major contributors on their teams.

Should we be rooting for the best effort from our team and put faith in Thomas Dimitroff to get talent anywhere in the draft? Or will you be rooting for the draft the rest of the season?

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