The Atlanta Falcons franchise and fan base are hungry, more accurately, they are starving. It is time to eat.
The most overused phrase in sports at the moment is “trust the process”; everyone from the Philadelphia 76ers to Camping World Stadium owner Marcus Lamonis is using it. Yes, I am guilty about using that phrase too.
But this phrase fits. No franchise goes from rebuild to world champion in 12 months, there is an actual process. Players and coaches must learn how to win before they can win on the ultimate stage. Unfortunately for the Falcons, they caught lightening in a bottle early in their process and managed to throw their process into hyper-drive and created an unrealistic expectation among the entire fan base.
What do most people do when they are hungry? They eat, and its time that the Falcons eat.
All the ingredients are here to make a spectacular three course meal. The only thing that Chef Quinn has to do is mix the ingredients and not burn anything. Seems simple enough, but even the best chef’s make mistakes from time to time, let’s hope this is the best meal Dan Quinn has ever prepared.
The appetizer can be a very underappreciated part of the dining experience. Most times if a person has an appetizer, it is usually a bowl of soup or a side salad. Rarely, do people ever have the $900 king crab appetizer.
The Atlanta Falcons special teams is the dinner appetizer equivalent. For most of the last decade, the Atlanta Falcons special teams was much like that bland bowl of soup – had some taste and every now and then we would get a fantastic chunk of protein that kept us engaged.
However, the Falcons have spent the last two years trying to upgrade that bland appetizer. Over the last several years, Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff have added players like Russell Gage, Kenjon Barner and Marcus Green, who excelled in special teams in college. Replacing the best kicker in franchise history will be tough, but in limited action, Giorgio Tavecchio seems up to the task.
The main course is one that should feature a strong protein and great side starches and vegetables. The seasoning should complement each other and leave your palate wanting more. The 2016 Falcons offense was exactly this and they have been trying desperately to get back there.
Strong side dishes that compliment the main protein always makes for the best meal. The protein can be great, but if the mash potatoes, asparagus or mac n cheese is terrible, no one remembers how great the steak was.
Matt Ryan has been that steak for a decade now. His greatness is downplayed because most of the supporting cast has not been able to compliment him. Adding three first round offensive lineman to a healthy Devonta Freeman and adding a power back in Qadree Ollison to pick up those third and shorts that have eluded the Falcons for years now, will help Matt Ryan standout among the NFL elite, like he IS.
Finally, the last piece of a great three course meal is the dessert. Yes, some restaurants have that great dessert case that make your mouth water and your insulin spike as you walk by. However, the high end restaurants have the desserts that compliment the main course and you may not know they have them until the waiter brings you the dessert menu after the main entre has been cleared.
The Falcons defense is the dessert in 2019. There is little to no expectations among those that cover the National Football League for this defense to be any good. However, internally, the Falcons believe that they will finish in the Top 5 in 2019. Should this happen, it will be just the third time in 20 years that the Falcons defense will finish in the Top 10.
With Grady Jarrett playing under the franchise tag, Deion Jones and Keanu Neal back healthy and a plethora of defensive line and secondary additions, this defense is ready to compliment the main course offense and prove that they are among the best in the entire league.
2019 has all the makings to be the best year in the history of Atlanta Falcons franchise. It’s finally time to eat.