Atlanta Falcons need to take notes on Super Bowl Sunday


Much like the rest of America, the Atlanta Falcons will be watching Super Bowl 54 and, unfortunately, not playing in it.

While the fans will be celebrating one of the sports’ biggest moments, the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff should be taking notes.

The NFL is a copycat league, just look at what happened the first time the Wildcat formation was introduced. But it also evolves. One of the biggest criticisms against Dan Quinn was that his defensive scheme hadn’t to match the new offenses in the league.

And yes, they play the Kansas City Chiefs next year who will be playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

But the Falcons are built more like the San Francisco 49ers than the Chiefs and there’s something they can learn.

The Chiefs have a unique talent in Patrick Mahomes, a quarterback like a league has never seen before. Matt Ryan isn’t that guy. His arm strength isn’t his calling card, neither is his athleticism.

In fact, Ryan is a much better Jimmy Garoppolo. Ryan is the blueprint for success in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. And Dirk Koetter needs to realize that. He doesn’t have to duplicate the offense but he needs to see what works and why Ryan was so successful in it.

The Falcons can also learn from the 49ers, a team they beat this year, that defense does indeed win championships and scheme matters.

The 49ers shut down Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship (yes, the Falcons play the Packers next year too) by getting coverage sacks and constantly changing what he saw every time he was under center.

But more importantly, what the Falcons need to take away is how important the ability to run the football is. Atlanta amassed just under 1,400 rushing yards as a team last season. How did San Francisco do? About 2,300.

And it was running back by committee, which again in the NFC championship allowed them to dominate a matchup eventually leading them to the Super Bowl.

If the Falcons can find their running game next year and have a more creative offensive and defensive scheme, they should be competing deep into the playoffs next year.

And the blueprint for doing so may be laid out on Super Bowl Sunday.