Going into next month's NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons have to feel good about the state of their team. Sure, an ambitious rebuild has yet to yield actual results. And sure, Vince Lombardi himself - equipped with unlimited payroll and a team of mad scientists - might have a difficult time turning around this defense in a single off-season. But the future is bright.
Let's play next season out to it's logical conclusion. I'm setting aside my rabid homer tendencies for a moment - join me, won't you? The offense rebounds to its above-average ways, with Julio Jones dropping jaws and putting defensive backs out of work. The defense trends in the right direction, still struggling given a lack of quality depth. Best case scenario, the Falcons win a playoff game or two. Worst case scenario, they have a losing record and miss the playoffs. The former would be great; but what if the latter happens? Can you stomach that?
Fansided's Dusty Haralson raised this question yesterday, and I can see why he did. No offense, Falcons fans, but you're a fickle bunch. I say that bearing in mind the veterans, the fans that suffered through nearly forty years of mostly bad football. But then came the glory years, the winningest stretch in franchise history. While we've endured a couple rough years, it's hard to imagine a sea of understanding faces when the Falcons inevitably struggle in 2015.