The Atlanta Falcons regressed offensively when Kyle Shanahan became the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. That fact and the “Super Bowl hangover”; those are the only two things most game day commentators know or care to mention about this team. (I’m looking at you, Cris Collinsworth.)
If you watch this team religiously, then you know those storylines are tired, redundant low-lying fruit. Is this team different? Sure, and we knew that’d be the case. The Falcons had a historically productive offense in 2016. That’s difficult to replicate. And let’s be honest, the NFL itself is different year to year. (Remember, the Falcons are the only NFC playoff team from 2016 to return to the playoffs in 2017.) What’s more, this team is arguably different in good ways. First, the defense is coming of age. Second, the offense, while less complicated and occasionally “disorganized,” is still a top ten offense.
So all this begs a simple question: Is this year’s team a more likable than last year’s team? For me the answer might by “yes.” It’s been a rollercoaster ride watching the Falcons evolve this year. And again, the young and talented defense is a lot of fun to watch. I’m particularly impressed by their resiliency. Given everything that’s happened over the past eleven months, this team easily could’ve fallen off a cliff.
So what say you, Falcoholics? Is this team more likable than last year’s? Discuss!