With the Atlanta Falcons 2010 Training Camp underway the NFL season has (unofficially) begun. We all know the Falcons finally broke the curse of the back-to-back winning seasons by reaching the nine-win plateau last year. With that monkey off their back, they can now focus on making the playoffs for the second time in three seasons – a feat they’ve accomplished three previous times.
How have the Falcons done in reaching the playoffs as a franchise? How do they compare to the other NFL teams? In a desperate attempt to get linked in Jason Kirk’s Saturday Six-Pack presented by The Falcoholic, I fire up the spreadsheet machine and fill it with Falcons data. Hit the jump to enjoy the final analysis.
As always at Blogging Dirty we use percentages and averages so every team is equal. Just because the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals have been in the NFL since the beginning of the 20th century doesn’t mean they get special treatment.
The chart below uses a simple calculation: Number of Playoff Seasons / Number of Total Seasons = Percentage of Playoff Seasons.
When these ideas pop into my head I always anticipate seeing the Falcons at or near the top of the list. As with the All-Pro breakdown, this is another time I am incorrect.
The Falcons have made the playoffs nine times in their 44-year playoff history. That’s the fifth-worst percentage (20%) in the NFL. Some positives: They’ve been on a steady incline going from zero appearances in the 1960′s to one in the 1970′s, two in the 1980′s, three in the 1990′s and three again in the 2000′s. More Positives: Two teams ranked below the Falcons – the Saints and the Cardinals – have Super Bowl appearances the last two years so this list probably doesn’t mean much (we hope).
This team is slowly getting the respect around the league but it will take a few playoff seasons and a Super Bowl title before they can put themselves in the elite category.
2010 marks a new decade. Will the Falcons set their franchise record with four playoff appearances between 2010 and 2019? Is this their decade to dominate? Will they have to wait until 2015 before they bring a Super Bowl to Atlanta?
Let me know in the comments or start the conversation on Twitter.