Here we are, a quarter of the way through the 2013 NFL Season. Experts and fans alike had the Falcons sitting atop the division, but expectations are not being met thus far. If you would have told me in August that Atlanta would be showcasing a 1-3 record going into October, I would have called you an idiot. But here I am, on September 30th, at a complete loss for words and salty as ever.
What exactly is wrong with the Falcons? Well, Ryan and Julio are having a historical season, with Jones on pace for 1900 yards. Ryan is currently in 2nd place behind none other than Peyton Manning in terms of passing yards. Tony Gonzalez had a career game against New England, and is playing his last year of football. Roddy White and Steven Jackson are both banged up, but the offense has still put itself in a position to succeed. Red Zone efficiency is this team’s number one problem. Some may blame the defense for our record, and they are partly to blame. However, this is an offensive league, and scoring 7, not 3, is vital in winning the game. Atlanta went 1-6 in Red Zone opportunities Sunday night, and that is just not acceptable. Adjustments need to be made fast or Atlanta will we watching from the couch in January.
I do believe we can rebound from this horrid start, but a division title seems grim. Atlanta is just TOO TALENTED to be a 1-3 team. A lot of plays presented themselves in each loss that could have gave Atlanta the victory; the Falcons just didn’t capitalize on them. Luckily, the last 3 Super Bowl winners didn’t have a 1st round bye in the playoffs (see 2010 Packers, 2011 Giants, and 2012 Ravens). Green Bay won it all with a handful of injuries, and actually lost to Atlanta in the regular season that year. The Giants won it all with a 9-7 record, and their coach on the hot seat. Baltimore won it all with a final run from Ray Lewis. The three characteristics that defined the last three Super Bowl teams can be found in Atlanta as well. Meeting adversity early is something new to an always above .500 Atlanta team. Maybe this could finally be the wake-up call they need to find their sense of urgency and win it not just for Tony, but for the city of Atlanta.