You had a bad day. You watched the Falcons go back and forth with our worst enemy, the Saints.
Imagine this scenario:
You're stuck in Panther land. You've had a bad feeling all week about this game and have elected to ignore it to save a few days of active heartbeats.
Panthers game goes on, game is not spoiled at any point. Panthers game ends and oh my God, the Falcons are on the 3 yard line going in to win the game.
For that one, brief moment, I believed. This was Matty Ice time. The Falcons, these Falcons, could break the Georgia sports curse, one that has hung over the state for longer than I've been alive. If you think that's a silly statement, you're not from Georgia. I'll leave it at that.
Needless to say, I won't describe the rest of that typical nightmare. It played out in every typical way Georgia sports like to play out. Of course, three times in the past calendar year, the soul of a Georgia team has literally perished within falling distance of heaven.
But anywho, this is supposed to be a "Don't bail on me yet" post, so let's get to it.
I knew we were in for a real hellraiser when we trotted Trufant and Alford out there at the same time. Imagine my surprise when Alford got an interception! He's been playing that way all through the preseason so that does not surprise me one bit.
Really, there's no better way to show a rookie "It can't get any worse than this" than to play the team you hate the most, who throws all over the ********* planet all day every day. If the sun failed to rise next Sunday, they would still be passing.
But from all accounts, they were excellent! That's great news, because that means those are two rookies we don't have to worry about. Or at least worry about less.
It's 4:30 am as I write this, and I've read about half of the "We Lost" thread's comments. I can understand the frustration. Believe me, I get it. It's maddening as all hell to not beat the team that you hate the most, who also passes even if the sun doesn't rise the next day.
The Saints, even without Offensive Genius Man as their head coach and with the worst friggin' defense of all time forever last year, still won 7 games. If their defense even improves to 20th best in the league, that's surely worth a win or two, right? Add Offensive Genius Man and you're looking at an 11-5 team. The game - in their house - was very even, from start to finish. We struck early, they struck late. Our final blow didn't come before the final bell, so to speak.
I think we expected some regression from the team last year. How many new starters are there? New center, new (essentially) right guard, new right tackle, two new corners. We're not even talking about starters who have been somewhere else and come here. We're talking about three (five) people who couldn't have told you what a real down of pro football was like until today. I include Reynolds in that only because he's recovering from a bad injury. It's like he rebooted his career.
And you're gonna tell me this team, even with all these newbies, hung in there against our hated rival team that passes until the sun doesn't rise and has Offensive Genius Man and Energetic Old-Woman-Looking Defensive Revival Man?
Hey, that's not so bad. We've let our lofty expectations get the better of us. Again. Which is okay, because I remember when expectations weren't real.
On the arm (literally, because that's all that was left of him by game's end) of Matty Ice, we were so close to winning! They had double mystery level tomfoolery against us. We had no tape on Rob Ryan, we had no tape on 2013 (or 2012) Offensive Genius Man, whereas they had the last forever and a day to study up on us, and we almost overcame that!
The offensive line problems bother the heck out of me, but at this point, why let it get you mad? There's next to nothing we can do about it now. We're going to ride this horse into either heaven or hell, whichever gate opens first.
Don't abandon ship just yet, but take this post as a warning: This will not be the last game the Falcons make you want to drive your brand new Bugatti into S*** Creek WITHOUT YOUR PADDLE. So bear with us, because you don't want to be up S*** Creek without a paddle.
Next Rise Up Nation episode will be sometime this week. We'll discuss the ball game as well as the upcoming one. Stay tuned, friends.