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Roundtable: What would need to happen to convince The Falcoholic’s staff that the Falcons have turned the season around?

Let’s say the Falcons do start winning. Can our hearts learn to love again?

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Normally, we’d round up staff reactions to a loss here, but let’s be perfectly honest and say you’re consuming enough loss-related content from us right now. Instead, let’s look to the future.

The question I posed to The Falcoholic’s writers, including myself, was a simple one: What would need to happen in the weeks ahead to convince you that this season has turned around? The Falcons are not 0-2 in a vacuum or with a new coaching staff, the kind of performance that is deeply unfortunate but not part of a long pattern of blowing huge leads and other discouraging errors. Instead, this latest historic loss joins a growing list of historic losses in the Dan Quinn era, which makes it hard to say “hell, we’ll get ‘em next week.”

Here’s what the staff had to say. What do you think?

Make the playoffs

I’ll be honest, my hopes in this team are shattered. They were fragile to begin with so this is not a major change in my position. Yet, a small part of me continued to hold on to the idea that Dan Quinn and his staff might suddenly “get it together.” The Dallas game killed that small part of me. The Falcons can go on a 5 game winning streak and I’m not sure that I will totally buy into it. Right now, I need to see it happen for the entire season. I need to see them reach the playoffs and have success while there. Otherwise, I simply refuse to believe it now. I’ve been burned too many times to believe otherwise. - David Walker

My hopes are unsalvageable

How much turnaround can we really see? I can see the Falcons going on a winning streak and maybe being fun for a bit. But becoming convinced in the Falcons is just not happening. I can only watch this team drop the ball so many times to be convinced they are anything other than what they have been the last few seasons: Poorly coached and destined for disappointment. I don’t think it is possible for them to turn it around even if they make the playoffs. The letdown is inevitable. - Matt Chambers

Nothing short of a miraculous postseason run

Even with my lowered expectations heading into the season—I believe I predicted an 8-8 finish in an earlier roundtable—I wasn’t prepared to see this level of ineptitude. Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff have turned the Falcons into a national laughingstock, and Arthur Blank stood by and let it happen. Allowing a 1-7 start in 2019 was a huge mistake, and the return of this regime has led to exactly what you’d expect. In 6 seasons with Dan Quinn at the helm, the Falcons have put a quality defense on the field once. Since Kyle Shanahan left the building, the offense has never reached the lofty heights of 2016. Sure, I’m willing to accept that a miraculous finish and postseason run could still occur. But it won’t. Dan Quinn and company will be fired after wasting the 2020 season. “Turning around the season”, at least to me, would be going into 2021 with a new coaching staff. — Kevin Knight

A complete 180 in many aspects

A lot will have to change entirely for me to believe the season is turned around. The defense has to incredibly turn into a juggernaut. From improving drastically in the sacks department to the unit turning into a turnover maven. The play calling from Dirk Koetter has to show balance and creativity on a consistent basis. Oh and both sides of the ball has to make the necessary plays to seal a win. Which is something that has been completely invisible during the Dan Quinn era. Until then, consider this team completely broken. Inside and out. - Eric Robinson

Multiple games with no blown leads

This offense can get the job done. The ground game isn’t where it needs to be yet and Dirk Koetter’s drive-to-drive management remains frustrating, but they’ll score plenty most weeks and keep the team in games.

What we need to see is a defense that can stay clamped down, a special teams unit that doesn’t make huge unforced errors, and yes, an offense that doesn’t squander so many opportunities. We need to see the Falcons get to a place where they are getting and comfortably holding on to leads to feel like this team has actually turned anything around. I’m not in a place where narrow losses to good teams, huge leads that turn into last second wins, and so on are going to be enough for me to feel like this team has sorted anything out. They have to show that the Falconing they’ve done for so long and started off this year with is truly a thing of the past. Otherwise I plan to go into my Sundays with minimal expectations for the sake of my own sanity. - Dave Choate