FanPost

... to Tank or Not to Tank? That is the Question


Recently this fanbase has become very open to the idea of just tanking an entire season in hopes for drafting a top-5 QB. Fans called for it every year, en masse, since about 2020. Once it was apparent Matt Ryan's time was coming to an end, at least part of the fanbase aggressively defended the stance to openly tank and grab a high draft pick in the next draft. Now, this is technically all a moot point, because the HC Arthur Smith has flat out stated that this team is not going to tank, and he doesn't know a single team that actually does that. So this is all just for fun really. What comes next is a simple pros and cons list. Lets see what we come up with.

Tanking Pros:

1. Having a top draft pick, usually a QB, can in fact change a franchise. If you nail a franchise player, like Atlanta did with Matt Ryan back in 2008, then you can change the trajectory of the franchise all together.

2. Its easier to lose on purpose than it is to win on purpose. So you can plan your path forward with much more ease. If you know you are going to suck, and possibly completely rebuild the roster, your GM can go ahead and start figuring out the money and acquisitions to make that happen. The coach can start working on the next gameplan.

3. Being terrible in the NFL pays off. It doesn't help the fanbase support, but the NFL shares a lot of profits and ultimately your teams win lose record really doesn't heavily affect your viability as a team in the short-term.

Tanking Cons:

1. Having a top draft pick is no guarantee of success whatsoever. In fact, there is a higher chance that you miss than hit, and thus you are forced to tank for multiple years to get the desired result.

2. Losing games on purpose, loses the locker room too. Once you openly start losing games, your players and coaches are only in it for the money. They are going to want to be paid double just because they will struggle to find good pay after a bad season. So you will overpay your players and coaches to lose, and then simultaneously create a culture that finds it acceptable to lose that will be required to be overcome once you want to win.

3. Being good in the NFL pays off more. There are certain things that the team doesn't share with the NFL as far as money and profits. That money is very crucial for financial viability in an NFL franchise. Long-term a team will want this money, just like anything else. Otherwise the owner himself won't care about the franchise.

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Now, once you are tanking, how likely is it that you are going to bounce back? Lets look at that. Lets take a look at some of the well known winning and losing franchises and see their win loss record over the past 15 years.

Losers:

Cleveland Browns: 2007 (10-6) 2008 (4-12) 2009 (5-11) 2010 (5-11) 2011 (4-12) 2012 (5-11) 2013 (4-12) 2014 (7-9) 2015 (3-13) 2016 (1-15) 2017 (0-16) 2018 (7-8) 2019 (6-10) 2020 (11-5) 2021 (8-9)

NY Jets: 2007 (4-12) 2008 (9-7) 2009 (9-7) 2010 (11-5) 2011 (8-8) 2012 (6-10) 2013 (8-8) 2014 (4-12) 2015 (10-6) 2016 (5-11) 2017 (5-11) 2018 (4-12) 2019 (7-9) 2020 (2-14) 2021 (4-13)

Miami Dolphins: 2007 (1-15) 2008 (11-5) 2009 (7-9) 2010 (7-9) 2011 (6-10) 2012 (7-9) 2013 (8-8) 2014 (8-8) 2015 (6-10) 2016 (10-6) 2017 (6-10) 2018 (7-9) 2019 (5-11) 2020 (10-6) 2021 (9-8)

Winners:

New England Patriots: 2007 (16-0) 2008 (11-5) 2009 (10-6) 2010 (14-2) 2011 (13-3) 2012 (12-4) 2013 (12-4) 2014 (12-4) 2015 (12-4) 2016 (14-2) 2017 (13-3) 2018 (11-5) 2019 (12-4) 2020 (7-9) 2021 (10-7)

New Orleans Saints; 2007 (7-9) 2008 (8-8) 2009 (13-3) 2010 (11-5) 2011 (13-3) 2012 (7-9) 2013 (11-5) 2014 (7-9) 2015 (7-9) 2016 (7-9) 2017 (11-5) 2018 (13-3) 2019 (13-3) 2020 (12-4) 2021 (9-8)

Baltimore Ravens: 2007 (5-11) 2008 (11-5) 2009 (9-7) 2010 (12-4) 2011 (12-4) 2012 (10-6) 2013 (8-8) 2014 (10-6) 2015 (5-11) 2016 (8-8) 2017 (9-7) 2018 (10-6) 2019 (14-2) 2020 (11-5) 2021 (8-9)

Atlanta Falcons:

2007 (4-12) 2008 (11-5) 2009 (9-7) 2010 (13-3) 2011 (10-6) 2012 (13-3) 2013 (4-12) 2014 (6-10) 2015 (8-8) 2016 (11-5) 2017 (10-6) 2018 (7-9) 2019 (7-9) 2020 (4-12) 2021 (7-10)

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With all of this in mind, what is the answer? To tank or not to tank, that is the question. Well it sure seems like teams who suck, suck most of the time. Teams who win, win most of the time. Teams who are mediocre, are mediocre most of the time. To take the chances of positioning yourself to become a team who sucks most of the time is not a risk worth taking. Your draft position doesn't guarantee help is coming. Your locker room culture and coaches/players belief that they can win means a lot. The teams profits only means anything to the owner, but once you've lost him, the team is virtually lost.

Point blank, NEVER TANK.

I hope that put an end to the argument.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>