Atlanta Falcons, Vic Beasley Must Rally On

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Vic Beasley
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Vic Beasley /

Despite veering off these past few weeks, the Atlanta Falcons must rally on to return to, and stay, their course to Super Bowl redemption.

The expectations headed into Sunday night’s Super Bowl LI rematch were high for both the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. Much like the expectations for both teams are this season. Neither team has actually risen up to those expectations. Yet. However, we’ve seen how just one play; one moment; one source of inspiration or motivation can (and has) led to Super Bowl success.

Yes, sweet success can come from the most unexpected moments; both good and bad. Sometimes, the happiest of endings and most fulfilling rewards are inspired by the most heartbreaking circumstances. Take, for example, the Patriots SB LI win in overtime. NFL Film captured the inspirational moment that occurred moments before the win. With the score tied, Julian Edelman told Tom Brady (via Bill Speros of the Boston Herald):

"“Let’s go score and win this thing, baby. For your mom. For your mom, bro.”"

Brady’s mother, Galynn Brady, was at the game, her first of the season after a blindsiding breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent chemotherapy. This moment between Edelman and Tom Brady shows just a fraction of the positive impact that the Super Bowl MVP’s mother’s cancer battle had on the team.

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Last night’s pregame ceremony, during which Galynn and other cancer survivors and warriors, including two-year-old Hudson Solder, the son of Patriots left tackle Nate Solder, who will return to chemotherapy in a few weeks for kidney cancer, provided us with another glimpse of the Patriots’ inspiration; inspiration shared by many throughout the world, including Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley.

Beasley was named the Week 6 NFLPA Community MVP for his teaming up with The Rally Foundation to rise up childhood cancer. He first teamed up with the Foundation in 2016 when he was named the honorary chair for its Rally On The Runway. Since then, Beasley’s become one of the organization’s best-known spokespeople and advocates and has raised funds benefiting childhood cancer through his Vic Beasley 44 Tackle and Sack Challenge. He also led the league in sacks for the 2016 season, after joining the Rally Foundation.

Now, this is likely nothing more than a mere coincidence. Teaming up with Rally didn’t make Beasley a better player. However, if nothing else, then perhaps the Foundation’s message did.

Rally on. Vic Beasley recorded four sacks in his rookie season, a statistic that made many deem the first-round draft pick’s NFL debut disappointing, despite the potential his play showed. However, Beasley rallied on to a 15.5-sack sophomore campaign that made him the sack-leader of the 2016 NFL season and a Super Bowl MVP contender.

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The Atlanta Falcons are well aware of how close they were to winning their first Super Bowl in Super Bowl LI after they seemingly had the victory grasped in their beaks, only to be blown off course by tormentous weather that New England is well-accustomed to, crushing their hearts as they fumbled the game and watched the win to slip away. However, they didn’t dwell in their sorrows and made early pivotal moves in free agency and this year’s draft to kickstart their journey to Super Bowl redemption.

The Atlanta Falcons’ mental focus, ability to “embrace the suck”,  and their ability to carry on after heartbreak was a big factor behind the team’s strong 3-0 start this season during which the team’s high-caliber offense and reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan appeared to be back on track for another successful, possibly even a MVP repeat season as he averaged 289 yards. Simply put, the Falcons put mind over matter to rally on. And they must continue to do so in order to return to their winning course after a post-bye week slump of three straight losses to the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots tonight.

Next: 3 Atlanta Falcons who saw their stock drop in Week 7

Perhaps Vic Beasley’s work with the Rally Foundation can inspire a strong comeback after injury for Beasley and allow the Atlanta Falcons to rise up for a Super Bowl championship.