Is losing in the best interest of the long-term health of the Atlanta Falcons?

Tanking is something you often hear about in professional sports, could it be something that is helpful to the long-term success of the Atlanta Falcons?

Atlanta Falcons v Arizona Cardinals
Atlanta Falcons v Arizona Cardinals / Mike Christy/GettyImages

Intentionally losing games is something that coaches hate and fans love. Fans want to see their team get that next generational player in the draft and the best way to do that is to lose games.

The Atlanta Falcons right now seem to be stuck in neutral. They have dropped three straight but they are also within one win of taking first place in their division. This is a strange place to be in and one can make the argument that losing is in the best interest of the Atlanta Falcons. But is that really the route the Falcons should go?

Should the Atlanta Falcons "tank" for long-term success?

The Atlanta Falcons have had five-straight losing seasons. That is simply unacceptable no matter the circumstances. Even after a reset, this team should have found success by now. While they still could break that losing-season streak, things haven't exactly looked promising over their past three games.

After getting a huge win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week seven which also gave them first place in the division, the Falcons have lost three straight—three straight to a rookie QB making his debut, a QB who hadn't taken a single snap with his team, and a QB playing in his first game in a year. Yet, with a win on Sunday over the Saints, the Falcons are back in first place.

Even if you nab first place, it isn't hard to assume that this team would give it up in the coming weeks. And even if they went on to win their division, they aren't exactly Super Bowl contenders.

If you lose on Sunday, then you further improve your draft picks. If the season ended today, the Falcons would have a fourth-straight top-ten pick. This would give them another opportunity to land a building block for this franchise—possibly this time a quarterback.

However, this is two-fold; if you keep losing, you keep losing confidence. Some players may not want to return and some players might request a trade, you just never know what losing will do to your players.

In the NFL, I believe that tanking rarely—if ever—happens. There are too many pieces to an NFL team and all of them are fighting for their jobs every single day. In other words, there is no chance that the Falcons will intentionally lose games.

The huge issue with having a high draft pick is that it doesn't guarantee anything. There are more busts in a draft than stars. You don't have to look far to find a team that thought they had their franchise-changing player only to find out they aren't fit for the NFL. And bam! Just like that, your losing season was for nothing. The Jets are the best example of that, they thought Sam Darnold and Zach Wilson would lead them to the Super Bowl. Instead, they led them to another high draft pick.

My advice to the Falcons: keep trying to do everything you can to win. Winning is the best medicine and improving your draft pick by a few slots is not worth it. The Falcons should be focusing on winning; it is in the best interest of everyone.

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