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49ers vs. Falcons: Lucky or Just Plain Good?

If the Falcons win the Super Bowl, they'll be the luckiest team of all time, according to sources.


Winning the lottery is complete luck. Winning 14 games during the course of a single NFL season is a different story and requires a little bit of skill, from my understanding.

The Falcons finally won a playoff game under the Mike Smith/Matt Ryan regime. They let the Seahawks march back and take a late lead, but ultimately it was the home team emerging victorious. Despite their success, though, there are still plenty of folks clinging to that "oh they're just lucky" sentiment.

Hey it's Skip Bayless making sense again! I relish his on-air segments every week. To be fair, if you watch the video from that tweet, he only mentions luck once. But he said it, so I'm pointing it out.

^^Cowboys fan

^^Seahawks fan, I think

^^Future First Take analyst

So you get the point. Some fans believe the Falcons are legitimate contenders with an impressive roster. Some believe they're simply getting lucky enough to make a run like this. But, where do we draw the line?

A couple weeks ago Russell Wilson botched an option read with Marshawn Lynch. Somehow the ball was right in place for Lynch to pick it up and continue running for 18 yards. Is that a lucky play? Last weekend Chase Coffman made the catch of his life as he tip-toed the sideline and hauled in a 16-yard pass for his second reception of the season. Was he lucky, or was it just a talented catch?

People often throw out luck when an athlete makes an impressive play. Here's the issue with that idea: they get paid millions of dollars to do it. I'm not going to call Julio Jones' touchdown catch in the back of the end zone against Detroit lucky because, well, he's a ridiculous athlete capable of doing that every game.

If you want to call the Falcons lucky for making a comeback with half a minute left, look at the stats. Matt Ryan is kind of good in those situations because...

Yeah, that's a solid argument. Naturally fans of opposing teams will be quick to call a play lucky solely based on the fact that they're pissed off. A lot of people don't want to see the Falcons succeed, and any argument as to why they're actually winning becomes worthwhile. You can't call this team lucky, though. Have a few balls bounced their way, or a few calls ended up in their favor? Sure, but you can say that about literally any team.

You don't make it to the NFC Championship without at least a little bit of luck, and you also don't win 14 games in one season without a whole lot of talent. Honestly, if the Falcons do win it all, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to see tweets left and right about how lucky their run was. It's part of sports. They'll just keep winning, and we can chalk it up to skill, luck, football gods or Mayan predictions. Sitting one victory away from a Super Bowl appearance looks good regardless of how they got there.

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