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The Great Conclusion, Part 1: The Sky Really Is Not Falling

Next time, there will not be a sad Matt Ryan.
Next time, there will not be a sad Matt Ryan.

In this series of posts, I seek to find the answer to questions that are brought up around here or around the various sports conversation sites. I use a realistic, low-stat opinion to generate discussion about these topics, but I also encourage the use of stats in an argument. The questions have been asked, and an answer has been obtained.

Saturday marks the 44th (I think) time in a row that the Atlanta Falcons have failed to win the Super Bowl for that season. Some of the long suffering Falcons fans may have come to expect another let down, whereas some of the younger fans like myself may be new to the "curse", if you wish to acknowledge something like that.

Never fear, fellow fans. I am here to tell you the sky is not falling and this team will be just fine, even if we retain the coaching staff. Follow me after the jump and let's break it down.

After yet another heated debate on the value of our coordinators, I can safely say there are many varying views on what we should do with Mularkey and Van Gorder.

I am on record here saying that BVG should be canned for the total defensive failure that occurred. I won't back down from that, though it stands to reason that it could have been the players' fault as well.

Let's step away from that for a moment and focus on the positives.

We had a great season. There are many teams that would've given anything just to get into the playoffs, let alone have a bye week before owning home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Matty had a good season, Turner had a good season, even though I was yelling about his horse blinders all year. Turner's TD run against the Pack was pretty awesome, though. The D played well. I can't complain about 5th ranked scoring defense and 5th scoring offense. I really can't.

I consider this season and all of its ups and downs a success. Everyone will probably view that differently, and that's fine. It's a matter of opinion, at least.

I think it's also safe to say that it's safe to say we exceeded most everyone's preseason expectations on here. A lot of people were hovering around 11 wins for the year with a potential NFCS title, and I think it's safe to say that postseason hopes were, well, happy with just getting there.

I think a lot of us might have been spoiled by our surprising success, and I'll include myself in that to an extent. It is easy to forget how good or bad we have been in seasons past in a lifestyle that is constantly "What have you done for me lately?"

If Gonzalez retires, I couldn't blame him. I feel worse for him than I do any of the other players. He's likely the GOAT TE and a great guy as well. We let him down as much as we've let anyone else down this year.

If he returns (I think he will) then we'll have his reliable self for one more year. I don't think we can get him downfield anymore, as he's simply just starting to slow down. Our line was good, but not good enough for him to get him down the field like someone of his hands should be going.

I think adding Kyle Rudolph (I think that's his name) would open up our offense tremendously, provided he can block worth a toot. New England uses their tight ends very, very well and Gronkowski and Hernandez both showcase that two types of tight ends can thrive in the league. Gronk is a big bodied guy, much like Gonzo, and Hernandez is a speedy, pass catching guy who is still tough as nails. I don't know much about Rudolph, but word around here is that he's a good pass catcher and would be a great addition.

Just think if we were to add DeAngelo Williams and draft Kyle Rudolph. Suddenly, everyone not an OL or the QB is a threat to do damage in the passing game.

But let me get back on track here. I went into the annals of time to look at Peyton's third season. Complex stats aside, he went 10-6 and was already passing at a level consistent with how he's played for most of his career. I think Matty could do more if the offense was designed in that way (It isn't. We're a power running team...thus far.) but Peyton was also 0-1 in the playoffs that year. I couldn't find the box score from that game, though it's probably around here somewhere, but Peyton only threw for 194 yards and the Colts scored only 17 points.

No, that game wasn't a blowout, and no, I currently don't care about that. The Colts had built themselves around a young QB and a solid core that was in place for a long run.

Now you might be asking why I would make a reference to that game. Well, there's a saying in pro football that goes something like, "Your team is never as good as it seems, and your team is never as bad as it seems."

We were probably worse than it seemed on Saturday, but I can assure you that the proper changes will be made to ensure our continued success. You don't take a 4-12 team to 10+ wins every year without knowing what you're doing. That can be said for all the coaches. We may not get the results we want every time or maybe even most of the time, but the Colts, a model team of consistency and management built for the long haul, have just one Super Bowl win.

I likened our loss to the Patriots' loss because, despite all of their successes and great organization, they are not invincible, just like us. Their style of obtaining their 14 wins did them no favors in the playoffs, just like us. The difference between them and us is that everyone and their grandma knows that the Pats are well run and are at the top of the list. Not many people know about us, and even fewer acknowledge that we're anything worth a toot, yet.

Everyone knows the Patriots are good and will be back, but don't you think that, after three straight years of winning seasons, two playoff appearances, and having a young, solid core in place, we should start believing in our team...our whole well? If you're angry about getting no respect, it will come in due time. After all, we didn't exactly earn any props for laying down against the Packers. But we will be back, I can assure you.

Long time fans may be skeptical. After all, this team hasn't done much in the near half-century it has been around. I've known about this team long enough to know that this group is different. There's a reason we've had sustained success in this league, and the playoffs this year should show you that there's more parity this year than there has possibly ever been.

And if you're questioning my reasoning, thought processes, sanity, etc., don't worry. Part 2 is going to have many fewer rainbows, unicorns, and positivity. There's still some grilling to be done, yet.

But for now, discuss. I want to hear why, despite our God awful exit, the sky actually is not falling. If you can't think of a reason, that's fine, at least try to keep it down to where it's just trees that are falling and not the sky.

Let me also make something else clear. I love having back-and-forth debates with you guys. I may not think the same way that some of you do, but I do enjoy trying to get my point across and I'm always willing to listen to others, even if they're right and I'm not. I want everyone to know that regardless of what I say, I do not intentionally try to stir any bad blood between us. We're family, and I want everyone to hang around so that when we get that Super Bowl win, I can celebrate it with everyone on here.

Thank you for your continued love of the Falcons guys, and with that said, I look forward to discussing this with you all!