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What we’re thankful for in 2021, Falcons edition

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Before we load up our plates with enough food to cause seismic activity, the team and I wanted to dig deep and share what we’re thankful for from this long year for the Atlanta Falcons.

Feel free to do the same in the comments, and please have a great holiday.

That we’ve had some fun this year

It’s a low bar we’re clearing here, but it’s Thanksgiving and the prompt I gave myself was to be thankful, so here we are. After two brutal, sad sack years of Falcons football in a row, I wasn’t sure how much fun we’d have this year. After the Julio Jones trade and especially after the first couple of weeks of the season, I wasn’t sure we’d have any.

So I’m thankful for Cordarrelle Patterson, breakout player. I’m thankful for those fleeting moments where Kyle Pitts has looked unstoppable and Matt Ryan has looked like Matt Ryan from days of yore. I’m thankful for beating the Saints and rare interceptions and a James Vaughters strip sack. They’re all little things, in the end, but finding some enjoyment before the Falcons get back to contending (which they will do at some point! I think!) is the best way to get through the rest of it. - Dave Choate

Win or lose, we’re in this together

I’m honestly thankful for the Falcons. From the time I was six years old to the present day, I’ve always been a Falcons fan. No matter how much my surroundings, myself or life has changed, there’s always been a constant – the Falcons. Growing up in North Carolina, before social media was a thing, I didn’t know any Falcons fans. I never had the privilege of sharing my thoughts or discussing the team with others. Once I joined Twitter in 2009, it opened a lot of doors for me. I now get to cover the team for The Falcoholic and have met a plethora of wonderful people, who without being a Falcons fan, I would have never gotten to know.

I’d be lying if I said they didn’t bring some sadness to my life, but in all, the Falcons have brought far more good than bad into my life. Being a fan of a team who has never won a Super Bowl gives us all a shared bondage and journey to hopefully, someday obtain one. 2021 hasn’t been great, but it’s the start of a new regime which usually starts off shaky. We are in this together, and that’s what Thanksgiving is all about after all. A time for sharing and giving thanks to those you hold close in your life. Even if we don’t always agree, we do appreciate you, the readers, for being apart of The Falcoholic community. Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday. – Evan Birchfield

When we have the Falcons we can always be thankful for mashed potatoes

There are so many bad times of recent memory. The team’s head coach saying he would leave the mid-season team for a college job. The very next head coach actually leaving the team mid-season for a college job. The seemingly endless lows following the 2012 “almost Super Bowl season.” 28-3. And whatever we want to describe these last four seasons where the team ineptly fumbled away every last shred of goodwill it developed in its history.

But those cannot overshadow the good times we have had with mashed potatoes, available at nearly all Thanksgiving meals. Whether Yukon Gold or Russet, when these babies are peeled, boiled, drained, mashed, and mixed with cream, butter, salt, pepper, and even garlic, chives, cheese, sour cream, and bacon, the result will be better than anything you can possibly see in the remainder of the 2021 season.

Are the Falcons heading in the right direction? What explains these confusing moves? Will anyone outside of Kyle Pitts stand out from this draft class? Oh god, was every move the wrong one? These things don’t matter when you are dousing a heaping portion of mashed potatoes with turkey gravy. - Matt Chambers

Some exciting playmakers, and our community

The 2021 season has more or less been a slopfest for Atlanta, with some exciting wins sprinkled in amongst some blowout losses. It’s an odd season for the NFL as a whole: home teams have a losing record overall, there are no truly dominant squads, and the NFC Wild Card race is wide open. Despite what the team said going in to the season, it’s clear this is a transitional year for the Falcons. Taken from that perspective, I think it’s easier to process and understand where the team is.

There are some good things, however! A.J. Terrell is turning in to a star before our eyes and should be a cornerstone piece to build the secondary around. Grady Jarrett is still great. Kyle Pitts showed us glimpses of what he could become when there is a functional offense around him. Cordarrelle Patterson has been electric and one of the most fun players to watch in the league. But mostly, I’m thankful for the community we’ve established here. To all our readers, commenters, and viewers of The Falcoholic Live—you all make this worthwhile. Even in a crappy season, we can still have fun together. So thanks! - Kevin Knight