The Falcons are no longer perennial, underachieving underdogs…
When the 2013-14 season begins, they will step in as bona-fide Super Bowl contenders. This is a team that has slowly, but surely progressed each season under the leadership of Coach Mike Smith and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. They finally received their first taste of playoff victory against the Seahawks, and now I’m sure they’re wondering what’s keeping them from taking it a step further.
Every year in the NFL yields different results…Teams rise and they fall, it’s the nature of the game. But the Falcons, just like their AFC-counterpart New England Patriots, have remained in playoff contention every year during the Smith-Dimitroff regime. They’ve added pieces through the draft and free agency year-in and year-out to keep this team competitive. It started with Ryan, Roddy and Turner, then Gonzalez, Thomas Decoud, William Moore, Sean Weatherspoon, Julio Jones, and the recent addition of Steven Jackson…This team has a balanced core; the perfect blend of young talent and veteran leaders. Lets not forget the newly acquired Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, the former of whom Dimitroff traded up to draft. Coordinators Mike Nolan and Dirk Kottier have also shown their worth and I’m sure that both will have even more tricks up their sleeve as returning players head into training camp with a year of experience in their system.
The fight for the NFC will be a tough…The Seahawks and 49ers both acquired more-than-serviceable receivers in trades, the infamous Sean Payton returning to the sidelines in New Orleans, Cam Newton and RGIII looking to wreak havoc with their versatility. Lets not forget about Green Bay, who’ll remain formidable as long as Aaron Rodgers is leading that team. But, Atlanta is no longer concerned about the regular season…Blank, Dimitroff, and Smith have successfully created a winning environment. They’ve suffered enough embarrassment on the national stage and are ready to put fear into those that oppose them. Teams got a taste of what they were capable of this past season, but with the newly acquired Steven Jackson their ceiling just got a little higher.
Atlanta will let the regular season take care of itself…On a bad Sunday they are better than the majority of the teams they’ll face. When the playoffs come, they’ll KNOW that they are better than any team they will see. When Atlanta embraces their destiny, they will be ready for their championship run come January.
Tags: 49ers Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons News Blogging Dirty Dirk Koetter Falcons Julio Jones Matt Ryan Michael Turner Mike Nolan Mike Smith New England Patriots NFC South Roddy White Sean Weatherspoon Seattle Seahawks Steven Jackson Super Bowl Thomas Dimitroff Todd McClure Tony Gonzalez Tyson Clabo