November 11, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Falcons 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Don't Fret My Fellow Falcon Fans

It’s only one loss, a season-opening loss I might add, but fans have already pushed the panic button.

It was eerily similar to the NFC Championship…We jumped out to an early lead, offense stalls for two quarters, opposing team’s QB rallies the team and regains the lead. Falcons try for one “Last Hurrah”, but team comes up a few yards short.

Those tend to be the most disheartening losses. Mike Smith is ready to put the loss behind him quickly.

“It’s one game,” said Mike Smith with a rather indifferent look on his face. “It’s the first game of the season, a long season, and we’re ready to get back to Flowery Branch, get the mistakes corrected and move on to the next ball game. You have to be able to do that as a team.”

He’s right. I know the team is anxious to get back to headquarters and correct the few things that they did wrong. As professionals, this is a part of their weekly routine. Atlanta’s long time fans, on the other hand, are viewing this loss from a different perspective. This is a franchise with 12-playoff appearances but no championships. For every fan that hopes the Mike Smith/Thomas Dimitroff regime will be the one to finally get it done, there is one fan that will remain skeptical until they get it done.

This was a tough loss to our most hated rival, the New Orleans Saints. I was clamoring for the Falcons to get a convincing win in the Mercedes-Benz dome, like most fans. Instead, they walked away with another close loss and now fans are thinking all the things they did right up until the 50-second mark in the 4th quarter is immediately voided.

Yeah, we loss but there were a LOT of positives from this game. The defense played EXCEPTIONALLY well. Outside of a few lapses by Decoud and Dent, I was very satisfied with how they played Brees. Trufant and Alford will be studs in the future and will continue to grow as the season goes on.

“The whole secondary, the whole defense has been working since I got here,” said Trufant. “We just gonna continue to improve and get better outcomes in the end.”

If the defense continues to play like they did in New Orleans, the Falcons will have better outcomes when the offense plays to their capability.

Steven Jackson dropped the game-winning TD and acknowledged it in a post-game interview, but had over 100 all-purpose yards and a pretty good game overall. Harry Douglas looks to be a factor for us in the slot (finally!). Remember, we kept this game close with an inactive Asante Samuel and a injured Roddy White. Roddy’s production was missed and when he gets back 100% our 3rd-down conversions should shoot back up to normal. The O-line will get better as the season goes on. All-in-all, the future looks bright for us…

I didn’t expect a 16-0 season and at the end of the day, we can’t pick and choose which teams we lose to. I’m happy we got a loss like this out the way early. It’s a long season and I would rather have it happen now than in the playoffs again. They will learn from this and get better.

Don’t fret.

*Quotes courtesy of Atlanta Falcons.com

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