To Tank…Or Not to Tank?


Nov 17, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank and general manager Thomas Dimitroff prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons fans are probably as divided as ever at the moment.  The Atlanta Falcons are in the midst of the worst season in years: possibly in history.  There have been less impressive seasons, sure, but with the aspirations going into this season makes it feel like so much more of a failure.  But there is one thing that comes out of a low pick that is an (probably only) upside.  That is a high round pick.

Every draft has a large amount of quality.  The first round holds a potential starter for every team.  But the first four or so picks have the potential to land a real game changing player.  Unfortunately for most of the teams that usually find themselves in the position to take one of those guys, they don’t have the managers to put together a winning program.  Teams like the Browns, Raiders, or Jaguars haven’t had the management to piece together a winning team or make use of the dozens of the great prospects handed to them.  The Atlanta Falcons is different.  Injuries, poor line play, and what could only be described as bad luck lead to a horrendous 3-9 season.  The difference maker in this situation is that a top notch prospect could land on a team that already has most of the pieces to win a Super Bowl.  A general manager, a head coach, a star quarterback, and weapons galore.  The only thing that is keeping this team from a healthy Super Bowl Run is good line play.  You won’t find anyone, draft or free agency, quite better than Jadeveon Clowney.  With him and a few other pieces along the line, Atlanta has as good a chance as anyone to do the incredible.

Clowney won’t last for long on that draft board, and Atlanta also has a chance of playing themselves out of getting a player of his caliber.  Things are clicking, Hawley by himself has greatly improved line play, the linebackers and backfield are doing a wonderful job on defense.  Washington might not have a chance in the dome.  San Francisco has been off all season and Atlanta could pull out an upset and no one can predict how division rivalries go.  Atlanta could finish the season 3-13 or 7-9.  One has a brighter and more informed view of the problems that have kept down Atlanta, the other could land the Falcons a real game-changing defensive player.

As a fan, you never want your team to lose.  As a fan, you always want to see your team do well, especially in the future.  So, as fans, what do you do?  Cheer the Falcons to win out, no hope of the playoffs, but moral victories and a feel good end, or Cheer for a bad enough record to land that top athlete? It’s a hard choice to make as a fan.  So how do you see it?  Win streak…or tank?