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A sad Falcons fan’s guide to surviving the last 3 games of this garbage season

We’re in the home stretch, at least.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not going to sugarcoat this. This season has been a damn disaster.

We had such high hopes for the team’s potential in 2018, which quickly transitioned to no hope whatsoever once we saw the lackluster effort against the Browns. The team has looked completely lost for five consecutive games, and we’ve still got to sit through three more of them before we can effectively tap out on this season.

The Falcoholic is suffering, too, but we’ll all get through these last three games together. Here are some tips.

Start as many players from Atlanta’s opponent in fantasy as you can

I’m a practical person and also a competitive one. If you’re lucky enough to be in the playoffs in your fantasy league, take advantage of Atlanta’s shaky defense and turn that into points for your squad.

Do you have Larry Fitzgerald? I do. He’s probably going to have a career day on Sunday. Cam Newton? The Falcons have zero pass rush to speak of and Cam’s hard to contain anyway. Use that to your advantage. Have Mike Evans? DeSean Jackson? Peyton Barber? If your playoffs go into the final week of the year, that’s all good news for you.

Take joy where you can find it. My fantasy teams are all better than this year’s Falcons squad and I’m enjoying that. I hope you can, too.

Prepare for the worst, and expect it, too

I’m generally a glass-half-full kind of person about most things in my life — I just veer into more pessimistic territory when it comes to this team. I fully expect them to lose, and to lose badly. I anticipate silly mistakes that are so absurd that I’ll legitimately ask myself why I spend any time or emotional currency on this team. And when your expectations are hovering around rock bottom, it’s really hard to be disappointed.

Root against the Saints

The Falcons have no shot at the postseason, but the Saints are a lock, unfortunately. The only way this season could be any more of a disaster would be the Saints winning a Super Bowl in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We’ve all suffered enough, and I frankly cannot take even the idea of that happening, so it’s time to take all of the energy you’d normally put into cheering for the Falcons and apply it to rooting for an immediate playoff exit for New Orleans.

Is this petty? Yes. Do I care? Not even slightly. I will be the biggest, most unapologetic fan of every team the Saints play from here until they get knocked out of the postseason, and I’ll enjoy every second of it.

Get excited about next year

At this point, we’re all just trying to survive the rest of this season. But there’s plenty of reason to have hope for substantial improvement over this offseason, and the Falcons should be right back in contention next year.

They’ll get these key players languishing on injured reserve back for next year. They’ll have a high draft pick — maybe even the No. 1 overall pick, if they keep playing like garbage — and can invest that into a position of need (cough cough edge rusher) and instantly upgrade the team. There’s talent to round things out beyond the first round and in free agency, and some coaching changes — which should be expected — will help breathe new life into this team going into 2019.

Stock up on alcohol

This is the Falcoholic. I would be remiss if I didn’t share most of our writers’ favorite coping strategy.

Whether you’re rooting for the team to tank or hoping they magically pull off some wins to end the season on a more pleasant note, it’s fine. Do what you have to do to survive this season, and let’s all look forward to a less tragic 2019.