The Downfall of the Atlanta Falcons

William Tribick, Staff Writer

Choking is one word that may come to mind when thinking about the Atlanta Falcons. Whether it may be blowing leads in the fourth quarter or blowing leads after halftime, Falcons fans are used to the normal choke that seems to happen almost every game. The Falcons are well known for many things like the ‘dirty bird’ dance and the ‘98 game-winning field goal that sent them to the Superbowl, but they are widely known as the team that blows leads.

Ever since the grueling overtime loss due to Tom Brady and the Patriots in Superbowl 51, things haven’t been the same in the Falcons franchise. When the offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan left to go coach for the San Francisco 49’ers after the tragic loss, Atlanta didn’t find a replacement as suitable as Shanahan to fill the role as the new offensive coordinator. The next season the Falcons record fell short one game of their 2016-2017 record and barely managed to clinch a wildcard spot due to two powerhouse teams in their division that year, the Saints and the Panthers. The Falcons ended up losing to the Eagles in the divisional round of the playoff after beating the Rams in the wildcard game.

Falcons records since 2016.
Graphic by Will Tribick

The next season the Falcons record declined rapidly under the coaching of Dan Quinn. They finished 2018 with a 7-9 record, which was the worst since their 2014 season. The talented players were itching for good play calling so they would be able to show their abilities. The coaching staff of the Falcons; however, seemed to call the wrong plays at the wrong time, which diminished the team’s ability to win close games. Towards the end of the season, the Falcons coaching staff found their groove, even though they were not going to make the playoffs. With the winning streak at the end of the season, the Falcons messed up their draft pick and continued to be a mediocre team throughout the 2019-2020 season, falling victim to their late winning streak once again.

This season, the Falcons started without a win. At this time the Falcons owner, Arthur Blank decided that it was best that he release GM (General Manager), Thomas Dimitroff and head coach, Dann Quinn. Replacing Dann Quinn as interim head coach, Raheem Morris, who has so far won four games and lost two. With a new head coach, the Falcons seem to have woken up from their talentless slumber and are on track for yet another messed up draft pick. The hope that Raheem Morris has brought the Falcons so far, has renewed the hope that they may make the playoffs during these next few seasons, and bring home their first-ever Lombardi trophy.

The past few seasons have been rough on the Falcons community and now that there is going to be a change in the coaching staff, Falcons fans have hope for a good Falcons team in the following seasons. The decline after Superbowl 51 has damaged the faith that the Falcons will be a consistent and winning team. But the changes imposed in the franchise has sparked hope that there may be a great Falcons season really soon.