As you can already tell by now, the Atlanta Falcons aren’t headed anywhere exciting right now.
With the season well-done by now, the team is going to have to dust itself off of this malevolent few months and figure out a way to head into the remaining four games on the schedule with as much optimism as it can muster.
Though we all might have different ideas as to what constitutes as “best-case,” we here at The Falcoholic have gathered to determine these scenarios. What will define a good ending for a bad season? What will define a bad season that ends horribly?
We don’t want to be blithely optimistic here, but we’ve still got about a month of this to go. The takes about where the Falcons are headed lie within, and trust us, dear reader, like a Little Caesar’s pizza, they’re hot-and-ready (and inedible).
The Falcons lose out and keep their starters healthy
Honestly, the wins and losses matter less than keeping our starters - especially guys like Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Grady Jarrett - healthy to finish out the season. If we can get these guys to 2019 at 100%, that will be a victory in itself with the way 2018 has gone so far. As for winning games, while it’s never fun to watch this team lose, finishing 4-12 all but guarantees a pick in the top-10 and possibly as high as the top-5. An 8-8 record may “help morale” but also pushes that pick into the 12 to 18 range. No matter what people may say, a top-10 or top-5 pick is always better than one in the middle of the first. Give me the higher pick, even if it’s going to be painful getting there. - David Walker
Although it’ll suck to watch, finishing 4-12 is probably best
The Falcons are out of the playoff hunt, and there’s nothing left to play for at this point outside of pride. NFL teams rarely tank, and Atlanta is no exception, but the best case scenario for them is probably to lose out while at least looking competitive in each of their final four games. That 4-12 record almost certainly nets them a top-5 pick, while finishing 4th in the division gets them a very easy schedule in 2019. I’ll also echo DW’s sentiment about keeping everyone healthy. A top-5 pick in every round plus the two mid-round comp picks gives the Falcons a huge opportunity to reload, while a 4th-place schedule could make their path to the postseason in 2019 significantly easier. - Kevin Knight
The Falcons stop playing like a disinterested JV squad and finish 8-8
I abhor the idea of tanking. I’m competitive, whether I’m playing Words with Friends or tennis or watching my favorite football team looking like they forgot how to play football against the Browns, Cowboys, Saints, and Ravens. I’d like to see this team collectively get its head out of its own ass and play like professionals. That said, if they lose out, I won’t be mad about the draft position, and I truly don’t fault anyone who’s hoping for continued failure from this team for a higher draft pick, either. Everyone’s got to put their focus where they must to get through the rest of this season. - Jeanna Thomas
The heat death of the universe puts a merciful end to all of this
Suck this entire season into a supermassive black hole. Give me some cataclysmic cosmic event that ruptures spacetime and renders all of the Falcons’ 2018 a figment of someone’s imagination. Should we not be spaghettified into sweet death, the best case for this team is going 0-4 over the final four games, securing a solid position in the draft and strengthening the roster for 2019. I’d prefer being zapped out of existence, though. - Carter Breazeale
The Falcons ... Falcon
If you’ve been a fan long enough, you have seen this team almost always do the exact opposite as they should. While many are now coming to terms with the team tanking for a top-5 draft selection, Julio Jones may have something to say about that. Recently, he was quoted as saying “We aren’t going to play for pride. We’re playing to whoop someone’s ass.” With that being said, I predict that the Falcons will win three of their remaining four games, just to Falcon things up. - Evan Birchfield