The pressure is on the Atlanta Falcons in 2019
Pressure is a word thrown around a lot in sports. (Cue Queen’s Under Pressure) How much pressure is on the Atlanta Falcons to win a title? A player to lead his team to victory? Or a coach to win prove he can be successful?
The thing is, pressure only comes when performance isn’t meeting expectations. And as we’ve discussed on this site, the Falcons have a chance to be legendary in this upcoming season.
Between the coach Dan Quinn, the offense and defense, who is really under the most pressure?
Coach Quinn makes a good case for that top spot. The team’s performance is usually a direct reflection on the man leading them. There is no reason why with the talent on this roster, they shouldn’t be a Super Bowl contender.
Since the epic collapse in Super Bowl LI, the Falcons went 17-15 in the next two seasons and 1-1 in the playoffs. Quinn has replaced offensive coordinators twice and will now call the defense himself. He’s essentially deciding his future.
If the team balls, Quinn is the hero, if any other result happens, he has a problem, because Arthur Blank wants and deserves a Super Bowl.
But the pressure valve only drops a little when you shift to the offense. Matt Ryan, a healthy Julio and Devonta Freeman, a second year Calvin Ridley, a growing Austin Hooper, a revamped offensive line and a reuniting with Dirk Koetter.
Koetter’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers were third in the league in offense last year with half as much talent. There is no reason this Falcons team shouldn’t put up near historic numbers. In recent years, the offense in Atlanta has always been a few steps ahead of the defense. Often tasked with having to outscore the opponent as opposed to hoping the defense would shut them down.
This season will be no different, the Falcons will go as its offense does. And this offense better be ready to fly.
The team’s defense doesn’t get a pass here. But there’s is mainly internal. No one is necessarily expecting the Falcons to be a historic defense, but fans do expect them to be able to stop a nosebleed. Which last year at times, they seemed unable to do.
They also dealt with an unfair amount of injuries, losing three key players in the first few weeks of the season. So no pressure right? As long as you can stay healthy and finish higher than 28th you’re good.
Well, Ricardo Allen during OTA’s issued the statement that when everyone is healthy, they are a top 10 unit. That’s a difference of about 800 yards given up over the season. Or about an extra 50 yards a game, which is doable, right?
Only time will tell.
But whether you’re Quinn, Ryan, Beasley, or Trufant. The pressure is on. And for the sake of the city, please rise up.