The Atlanta Falcons season ends, as the old saying goes, not with a bang but a whimper.
It was a brutal game, this 48-21 loss to the Packers. The Falcons got off to a hot start with a turnover and Eric Weems' brilliant kick return for a touchdown, and then everything went to hell. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers were simply too good tonight, and the Falcons had no answers for them. No one on the team—with the possible exception of Weems—gets a pass for the performance. It took an entire team to lose in such gut-wrenching fashion.
It's over now. There will be no more talk of disrespect from pundits, fretting over whether Harry Douglas will emerge in the third receiver role and agonizing over the decisions of Brian Van Gorder and Mike Mularkey.
Okay, maybe we'll still be talking about the last one.
Let's try to remember the good times. Obviously, nothing short of a Super Bowl is the outcome you fervently wish for, but these Falcons put together a season we'll remember fondly for a long time. They're also built for the long haul, and are a few pieces away from wreaking havoc on the NFC again in 2010. Realize also that this was a team that even the most loyal of fans could find fault with this season, and they still won 13 games. It's really a pretty remarkable campaign.
Does that make the less easier to swallow? No. I'm still unreasonably depressed, and it's going to be worse come tomorrow when I head into a den of Patriots fans for the afternoon. But as time goes on, I think we'll be able to appreciate the strides the Falcons took in 2010, even if it ended with the Packers hanging 48 points on 'em. Oof.
No highlights, no lowlights, no lists this week. I don't have the stomach to relive every second of that game right now, and we've got months ahead of us to break it down.
For now, all I want to do is watch a couple of football games I have no stake in and forget yesterday happened. I hope you'll join me later today, and take a little time to think about the fond memories you'll have from this season.
There's no use in wallowing in misery, after all.