If you wanted a signal from the gods themselves, the sort of glowing and screeching cosmic talisman that would tell you that it was time to end the current era of Falcons football and start another, it could not have arrived with the fire and sound that this 40-39 loss to the Cowboys did. It landed like a meteor, but its destruction was far more complete.
I doubt Arthur Blank will clean house two weeks into the season, but it’s inevitable now. There is no way this team, as currently constructed from top to bottom, will come out of the hole they’ve just dug for themselves. There is no way a team that lost the way this team just did against Dallas will be able to recover from an 0-2 start that something like 10% of teams ever come out of to prove to be the feel good story of the year. It is simply not going to happen.
This Falcons team was up 20-0. This Falcons team was up by double digits most of the game. They were leading by 15 with just about 4 minutes to go, and Mike McCarthy kept trying to bail them out with coaching mistakes. They were given a multitude of gifts, like three football wisemen hauled ass across the desert to bring them to them, and yet it came down to an onside kick the Falcons watched for an agonizingly long, impossibly irresponsible time until Dallas recovered it. They lost by one point as time expired, 40-39, a score that beggars belief.
They lost because they are the Atlanta Falcons, this impossibly dumb and cursed franchise that has somehow become even more dumb and cursed in the Dan Quinn era despite some glowing, beautiful moments of near success during the past several seasons. They lost because they cannot be trusted to hold on to a lead for reasons that range to ill-timed injuries to sheer ineptitude, and because when they need to make a pivotal play or be the best possible, most well-coached version of this team they cannot be it. We’ve all clung to hope to varying degrees through the past few seasons, but the driftwood is 6,000 feet deep now and we’re well past drowned, whether we realize it or not.
I don’t know what the next era of Falcons football will bring, but it’s time to wipe this from the map and start again, taking advantage of the talent that has been assembled with a fresh set of eyes from the men and women in charge of assembling and coaching this football team. We’ll appreciate the good times with some distance, but these Falcons are 0-2 in the record books and 0-16 in our weary, damaged souls. The chances of this team making this wrong right are pretty much nil.