The Atlanta Falcons retched first game is still at the forefront of most fan’s minds going into the week 2. The loss was ugly for the Falcons but doesn’t necessarily mean the season is in the tank after the first week.
Coming off the loss at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings, the Atlanta Falcons have started the 2019 NFL season on the wrong foot. The game on Sunday was a comedy of errors for the Falcons mixed with some great execution by the Vikings that led to a blowout in favor of Minnesota. The mood around the city has gone from playoff optimism to wondering if Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff will make it out of the season with their jobs intact. Even with the bad loss, no fanbase, Falcons included, should put too much stock in one game but we are immune to that kind of logic as fans. However, the Falcons could still turn this season around and all would be forgotten. Atlanta wouldn’t be the first team to suffer a week 1 loss only to turn it around throughout the season. Here are a few examples.
The New Orleans Saints opened their season with a road game against a divisional rival, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As any fan of the NFC South would know, the Bucs have been bad for a long time while conversely, the Saints have been towards the top of the NFC South for the last ten years. However, none of that mattered in last season’s opener. The Bucs would go on to beatdown the Saints on opening day 48-40. After the letdown of the Minnesota Miracle in the playoffs the year before, the Saints season looked like it could go off the rails quickly.
However, the Saints turned their season around quickly, going 13-3 and winning the NFC South in runaway fashion. The Bucs would use up all their “Fitzmagic” at the start of the season and trailing off towards the end, going 5-11. The Saints would go on to make the NFC Championship game before losing to the Los Angeles Rams.
2017- New England Patriots
The New England Patriots were coming off a Super Bowl-winning season the previous year and would open the season against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs mauled the Pats on opening night, 42-27, prompting the age-old question, are the Patriots done? No, they weren’t done at all. The Pats would go 13-3 that season, making another Super Bowl, however, losing to the Eagles in the big game.
2016- Atlanta Falcons
Yes, your Atlanta Falcons, led by the same head coach and quarterback, have stumbled in the first game of the season, only to turnaround the season by going to the playoffs that very year. After the crushing defeat in Super Bowl 51, the Falcons opened the season against Tampa Bay in week one, yes them again, and would lose on their home field, 31-24. The talk of Super Bowl hangovers was in the air after the loss, but they were all for naught. The Falcons would go 11-5 that season, making the playoffs.
Any football fan knows one week doesn’t define a season, even if the season is only 16 weeks. The Falcons have been in this very position before and have come out the other side. They can do it again. This 2019 Atlanta Falcons team is much too talented to look the way they looked on Sunday in Minnesota. The Vikings got on top of the Falcons right away and the team couldn’t get back up. I don’t expect the Falcons to look as bad as they did this Sunday. They will have to get themselves right sooner than later with the Eagles coming to town. This team needs to do everything they can to avoid an 0-2 start to the season. That’s a deeper hole that most teams don’t find their way out of.