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The Falcons are an even year team, as these rankings strikingly illustrate

It’s not odd to be even.

Divisional Round - Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

We wrote earlier this offseason about Atlanta’s odd, ongoing excellence in even years versus odd years. There’s no rhyme or reason to why they should be, and likely no great cosmic alignment governing that excellence, but it’s worth noting that the Falcons since 1998 have been to two Super Bowls and made seven playoff appearances in even years, while they’ve made just two playoff appearances in odd years, in 2011 and 2017.

Just going back to 2008, we see the trend illustrated not just in final records, but actual performance. Per Austrian stats guy ViennaFalcon, here’s a look at the way the Falcons have just plain been better in even years.

What gives, exactly? The team has been prone to bursts of offensive ineffectiveness in odd years, with 2009 (a Matt Ryan injury), 2011 (Mike Mularkey’s final, sluggish season), 2013 (Julio Jones’ injury), 2015 (Kyle Shanahan’s ill-fated first season), and 2017 (Steve Sarkisian’s up-and-down first year) all occurring in odd numbered seasons. Some of that is just poor luck, of course, but the Falcons are once again in a favorable position heading into an even year, with a stacked roster and a year of experience for Steve Sarkisian.

That’s a very good omen for this year, I think, but it’s also a curious note in this team’s long and curious history. Let’s hope this not the year where that even year dominance breaks down, especially because we already through that in 2014.