This week, we were asked to come up with something we were thankful for in regards to our beloved Falcons. There are many things—like not being in the cellar of the NFC South, not having Joey Harrington at quarterback, and so on—but one stands out to me at the end of the day.
I am extremely thankful for the talent level on this Falcons roster. In prior years, we would not have seen Grady Jarrett annihilating plays single-handedly, Julio Jones eating cornerbacks alive, or Alex Mack blocking a man to the ground. The Falcons have been a talented team for a while, but they have not had this much young, capable talent in many moons.
I’d like you to think back to the early years of the Mike Smith Falcons, when the team had Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and Roddy White (and eventually, Tony Gonzalez and Julio Jones), but also an offensive line with a lot of mediocre pieces, and a defense that got by as much on guile as talent. When the Falcons didn’t have Brent Grimes, John Abraham, Sean Weatherspoon, and William Moore active and healthy, they were a weak defense. They were sometimes a weak defense even with those guys, a team that relied on turnovers to mask deficiencies in physicality and rushing the passer.
The offense is more talented, too, thanks to a robust offensive line, the number of available secondary weapons, and the two-headed monster at running back. This team has made a lot of mistakes in 2017 and has been deeply frustrating to watch at times, but there’s no doubt about the talent level, and that talent will keep them relevant the rest of this season and certainly for the next couple.
That’s what we’re thankful for, Falcons-wise. How about you?