Falcons To Swing For The Fence?
9 Posted on April 17th, 2013 by Himself
Are the Atlanta Falcons going to attempt to replicate the Julio Jones strategy? Do they really believe they're STILL just one player short of a championship? Oh, let us all hope so.
Quick Out, April 17, 2013
Pat Y over at Yahoo reports that Peter King reports that the Falcons might be interested in trading up from 30. This is something that Pat himself reported earlier, so I guess he’s taking King’s report as some sort of confirmation…or validation. Whatever. And, of course, it might be true.
But it won’t matter, because Atlanta has shot their bolt. They had their chance last year (just as we had our chance in 2011), and blew it. Against San Francisco (just as we…).
I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but the Falcons have been probably the NFL’s luckiest team over the Mike Smith era. Yes, the Saints were lucky, too, in 2009: tremendously lucky. And good. Really, really good. They led the league in total offense. They led the league in total points scored. They were second in net points. They won by an average score of 32-21. And while their defense wasn’t great, it was good enough, and outstanding in some categories such as takeaways and red zone scoring. The Saints went 13-3 that year and won the Super Bowl.
Last year the Falcons went 13-3, and they did it by leading in nothing at all. They were 8th in total offense. They were 24th in defense, but they did it without leading the league, or coming close to it, in any meaningful category. They won by an average score of 26-19. And they had to survive one ignominious collapse in order to collapse ignominiously against the 49ers.
All this two years after they traded up in the draft to acquire the last missing piece of their Super Bowl dynasty: Julio Jones. So they’ve already tried this ploy once, and it came up short—not because Jones isn’t a good player, not even because he’s not as good as they thought he was, but because the team as a whole wasn’t as good as they thought they were.
And they still aren’t.
Pat says that Atlanta is “on the cusp of a Super Bowl,” and that much is true. They were sitting right there on the cusp, watching, as San Francisco went instead. This year, they’ll watch again. But they’ll need to be tremendously lucky to have a close-up view, and that kind of luck doesn’t last forever. It’s my bet that this is the year it runs out. Those fortunate bounces will go the other way. Those close victories will have an unnerving tendency to turn into close defeats. And their attempt to repeat Philadelphia’s “Dream Team” strategy will end the same way it did for Philadelphia. Whether or not they trade up.
So I’m all for it. As I said earlier.