Watching the Super Bowl last night made me appreciate just how difficult it is to stop the Patriots and Eagles offenses, which makes last year’s Super Bowl perhaps .000000001% less upsetting and this year’s playoff loss to the Eagles look pretty impressive on the defensive side of the ball. Yet at the end of the day, the Falcons are still where they are, and we’re still waiting for their first Super Bowl.
So now the question we’ll be asking all offseason, as did after 2016, is what the Falcons need to do to get back. It’s a question that may not have an easy answer, but we’re going to fill in the blanks regardless.
For me, it’s a matter of taking some steps forward. That means improving the run defense a little more, hopefully by adding pieces on the interior of the defensive line, and by adding a little more firepower to the offense. Ideally, you’d upgrade a bit at guard, wide receiver, defensive tackle, and probably the secondary, and you’d count on bounce back years for players like Julio Jones and Austin Hooper, who had some weird drops they probably won’t be repeating.
More than anything else, though, you count on coaching improvements. The Falcons weren’t undone entirely by Steve Sarkisian’s rookie mistakes or Dan Quinn’s continued issues with in-game management, but those were active impediments to their success in 2018. I think Sark and company will fare much better next year, but I genuinely don’t think we can know what kind of improvement Quinn’s going to show when it comes to managing timeouts and the like until we see it next year.
If the Falcons simply do these things and stay healthy, they’ll push for a Super Bowl next year. I firmly believe the talent on this roster makes them one of the favorites in the NFC, even if the Eagles look like they’ll be terrifying again next year, and they’re not so far away from making another big push.
What say you?