The Falcons open training camp this week. They play their first regular-season game in seven weeks. They will be judged in six months.
This is their new reality.
The question with this franchise used to be, “Can they walk straight?” The answer generally was no.
Things improved. The question became, “Can they compete?” The answer over the past four seasons mostly has been yes, at least through December.
But after raising the bar with three playoff appearances in four seasons following mostly decades of infamy, the question now is a more difficult one to answer: Have they have hit a wall?
Some within the organization believe the criticism for postseason failures has been a bit too harsh. After all, two of the team’s three playoff losses have come against eventual Super Bowl winners (Green Bay and New York). The other came in quarterback Matt Ryan’s rookie season and against a team that