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Only one team made the playoffs after an 0-4 start, and the Falcons don’t look like they’ll be the second

Atlanta’s not willing to admit they’re doomed, but history does not paint a kind picture.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It is not the nature of a football team to tell you that they are doomed. They will be relentlessly focused on the week ahead and will talk about the opportunities ahead of them, which is something professionals who play and coach football need to do in order to try to win games and keep despair from overwhelming them. We are not in any way required to do the same thing, however.

The Falcons are cooked. They are finished. Atlanta is kaput. They are doomed. It’s over. The final bell has tolled. All things must come to an end, including the Atlanta Falcons. The season is metaphorically pushing up daisies, kicking the bucket, and sleeping with the fishes. These are all harsh cliches, sure, but they’re borne out by the historical evidence available to us.

Here are the facts: In the history of the league since the AFL-NFL merger back in June of 1966, only a single team has overcome an 0-4 start to make the playoffs. That team was the 1992 Chargers, powered by Marion Butts, Rod Bernstein and Eric Bieniemy at running back, which went 11-1 in their final 12 games to push into the postseason. The rosiest picture we can paint for you is that more than 80 teams (in well over 1,200 individual seasons) have gone 10-2 or better in their final 12 games, and that would almost certainly push Atlanta into the postseason. If you think that Atlanta can manage that in the second half—or hell, even 9-3 with the expanded postseason format—then you’re looking at a slim but not impossible chance.

All this is to suggest that the Falcons would have to be a historically great, resilient team to push past their miserable 0-4 start and into the postseason, something that the season thus far suggests is emphatically not the case. If you harbored some slim hopes that Atlanta would put together the kind of historic rally that justified faith in this current regime, I’d suggest you extinguish those hopes now and just take what comes the rest of the way. There’s still 12 games left before we get to find out what’s next for the Atlanta Falcons.