Each week, in conjunction with Breda Pest Management, we'll ask "What's bugging you?" in the world of sports. There's usually plenty to gripe about.
And then there's that time our Falcons went to Houston for Super Bowl LI and jumped out to a 28-3 lead before watching the New England Patriots tie the game out late and rip out the hearts of fans everywhere in Falcons Nation in overtime.
It's taken some time for many to calm down from that Sunday disappointment in the Lone Star State. Let's try some therapeutic conversation, shall we?
We're easy to find and always thought-provoking. And because we're partnering with the fine folks over at Breda Pest Management, it's obvious we'll be able to find a remedy for what's pestering you.
You hit a number of topics here and I want to toss out a few of them. Apologies.
Julian Edelman's amazing grab and Tom Brady's excellence were just… well plays (or play) that only superlatives can describe. Sure, let's be angry that they were able to pull those off, but after the initial fire on our eyes wears off, look at Edelman and Brady as stars who shined when the game was on the line. That shouldn't bug you too much.
The no-call on the facemask that could have forced offsetting penalties on third-and-23 from the 35-yard line was a missed call, don't get me wrong. But that's not the first time Atlanta has been devastated by a missed call (remember Seattle… Week 6?) and it won't be the last. I don't buy officiating as a reason for Falcons fans to suffer until next September.
Now, the penalties – and the issues they caused – I'll give you. It's hard to beat a team like New England with nine penalties for 65 yards. That has to be cleaned up.
So does the play-calling. Hopefully, that was solved when Kyle Shanahan left Atlanta for San Francisco. Because you'll never convince me that on third down from the New England 35-yard line with 23 yards to go that passing was a good idea, particularly with an eight-point lead and 3:50 on the clock.
You've had a tough year with your teams on the biggest stage. But look at it this way… at least your teams got to their respective championships. There are many fans that haven't felt that in a long, long time.
Also… both Golden State and our Falcons look to be set up for similar runs in the near future.
You're way ahead of most of the population of Falcons Nation in the grieving process. But you're definitely in the right place.
Sooner or later, people will realize that the Falcons are built to be good for the near future. There were four rookie starters on defense and some second-year players the truly emerged (re: Vic Beasley). And the offense was superb, with pieces that should remain in place.
Oh, and don't forget that even though Matt Ryan will turn 32 next season, he just had the best season of his career in 2016 and thinks he can get better.
I'm right there with you.
The Falcons were outscored 31-7 in the second half and overtime, and it's even worse when you remember that Atlanta scored first in the third quarter. New England scored the final 31 points of the game.
The Falcons only moved the chains eight times in the second half and amassed just 155 total yards.
And let's no rehash how little the Falcons ran the football last in the game, even though their ground game seemed to be working and running was the right call.
Untie the noose. Stay away from any ledges.
The reason why I told Craig, above, not to do anything crazy was because I truly think this Falcons team could be good for some time. With the makeup of this roster and the way head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have come together in team building, there's no reason to think that a three to four year run of football just like we saw in 2016 isn't achievable.
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