The decade is over. The years from 2010-2019 brought the Falcons frankly unprecedented success and more crushing disappointment than you could shake your fist at, not that we didn’t try.
As we look back on those years, it’s worth wondering how Falcons fans like us (and newer ones who come aboard) will look at this decade in the years to come.
Let’s start by looking at how it stacks up against decades past. The list below should have the Falcons at 90-71-0, because it was originally posted before the Falcons beat the Bucs.
Falcons regular season records by decade...— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) December 23, 2019
2010’s: 89-71-0 .556*
2000’s: 75-84-1 .471
1990’s: 72-88-0 .450
1980’s: 57-94-1 .377
1970’s: 60-81-3 .425
1960’s: 12-43-1 .218
*one game remaining
The superlatives aren’t hard to come by. This is the only decade that has ever seen the Falcons finish above .500. They enjoyed 5 of their 14 franchise playoff berths in the 2010s, 1 of their 2 Super Bowl berths, and an outsized number of franchise legends. The Falcons have quite simply never been better longer than they were in the last decade, with a pair of winning coaches, their best quarterback and wide receiver ever making things happen, and plenty of franchise marks shattered.
Yet I suspect that it will take time to truly appreciate the decade, if Falcons fans ever do. Winning begets expectations, and Atlanta fell short of them over and over again. Whether it was turning 13-3 seasons into trips that fell short of the Super Bowl (2010, 2012), bitterly disappointing years following successful ones (2013 and 2014, 2018 and 2019), teams that were weirdly anemic on offense at the worst possible time (2011, 2017), or a team that came so close to bringing the Falcons to the promised land only to crush us again (2016, obviously), the Falcons never quite became the winner their talent and expectations suggested they could be.
The 2020s will inevitably bring sweeping changes, because Julio Jones and Matt Ryan aren’t going to play the entire decade. All we can do is hope that this new decade, if it does nothing else, brings the Falcons’ first Super Bowl win ever. We’ve waited a long, long time for that.
Where do you stand on the decade that was?