The Atlanta Falcons mixed roster of talented young guys and savvy veterans found out the hard way that the small things matter in order to win in the NFL.
It is very easy to lose track of minor details when looking at the big picture and that is exactly what happened to the Atlanta Falcons in 2019. They were so focused on the big picture and getting back to a Super Bowl that they forgot to do the small things it takes to win in the NFL.
The question becomes “How do you forget?” That answer is one that each individual player and coach has to answer for themselves and more than likely no two answers are going to be identical.
Winning in professional football is hard, very hard. Unlike basketball, baseball, soccer or hockey you only get 16 opportunities to get it right. This is why more than 60 percent of the playoff teams from the year before does not make it back to the playoffs the following year.
Often times the best teacher in life is failure. As fans, we assumed that going 7-9 in 2018 was a failure. Unfortunately, having a winning streak heading into 2019 gave the Falcons some sort of false confidence and the failure from 2018 was forgotten.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan joined the Dan Patrick Show, which airs daily at 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET on AT&T AUDIENCE Network and can be found on DIRECTV Ch. 239, he had this to say after being asked what he would change about 2019
"“There isn’t just one thing he could put his finger on, instead he would “remind everybody of how fine the line is between wins and losses in this league and that everything you do is important…” He goes on to discuss the team’s handful of one to two score losses and how if a few of those had gone differently the Falcons would currently be in the thick of things”"
Matty Ice is right on both accounts, there is a fine line between winning and losing and if the Falcons defense could have gotten just one additional stop in four of their first seven games, the Atlanta Falcons would be in the middle of the playoff hunt.
There is a lot of football to be played and plenty of time for us to speculate what happens moving forward, but at least for the next five days we can smile knowing as bad as things got in the first eight weeks, Saints fans go to sleep knowing they lost to a two-win team.