If the Mercedes Benz stadium is any indication, enthusiasm for the Falcons has been at a resounding low. While some may point out that naming the stadium after a luxury car out of reach for most is a close similarity to the team requiring prohibitively expensive personal seat licenses to get into that stadium, energy behind the team has been lacking even outside of the stadium. Fans are looking for a reason to buy in while the brain trust has been tight-lipped and inconsistent about its approach and plans for the future.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine the team isn’t winning. Arthur Blank needs to give fans a reason to follow, watch and support, financially or otherwise. More than simply losing, the Falcons have been losing for a long time. A very long time. Atlanta has had one winning season since the 28-3 debacle, following up the 2017 playoff run with five losing seasons in a row.
We have seen a lot of bad times as Falcons fans. But how bad is this? The last time the Atlanta Falcons failed to make the playoffs for this long was the stretch from 1982 to 1990. 33 years since the Falcons assembled this much consistently poor play.
There is plenty of blame, excuses and qualifiers to go around, from the team’s improvement in some regards this season to the terrible cap situation. Regardless, the results are the results: 7 wins in 2018, 7 wins in 2019, 4 wins in 2020, 7 wins in 2021 (under now 17-game seasons), and 7 wins in 2022. The Falcons at no point during this stretch were ever above .500.
This stretch cannot continue. Falcons fans have been through a lot. Some things are looking up: the Falcons have a stout run game behind Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allgeier; Desmond Ridder put together one impressive game against Tampa Bay; the defense...isn’t showing us as much. Are the Falcons on their way or just churning at this point? The offseason will determine that, but they have been churning a long time.
If 2023 continues this stretch, fans can’t listen to the same song and dance that things are improving, no matter what Rich McKay thinks. Progress or not, the Falcons need to be pushing their way into the playoffs in 2023 and ending this drought.