The Atlanta Falcons lost to the New York Jets (17-0) in their first preseason game.
First, football is back.
Second, the Atlanta Falcons lost to the really bad New York Jets.
Third, don’t panic. This is just preseason.
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Going into this game, the Falcons coaches and players all knew that the outcome of this game was meaningless. That said, any competitive person will do their best to win, regardless of the importance of the game. It’s hard to feel good about seeing your team lose, but there is a silver lining.
It could be argued that despite not winning the game, the Falcons walked out with a bittersweet loss. Luckily for Atlanta, the team suffered no major injuries or setbacks. The team’s starters got a few snaps against a real opponent and was able to walk away without suffering a debilitating injury.
Even if the Falcons went 0-4 in the preseason and played like garbage, that would do display little about this team’s ability to reach the super bowl.
For example, Back in 2008, the Detroit Lions went 4-0 in preseason play. Unfortunately for Detroit, the regular season proved to be more than the team could handle as the Lions went 0-16, losing all of their games.
What this example highlights is that a team’s performance in preseason, while fun to watch, is highly uncorrelated with how a team will perform in the regular season.
So, sit back, relax, and enjoy Matt Ryan getting one drive next week against the Kansas City Chiefs, because win or lose, we won’t learn much about the Falcons.