Would the Falcons be getting nitpicked if they were 6-2?




Noah Coslov of CineSport posed an intriguing question today: Would the Falcons be better off — profile-wise if not record-wise — at 6-2 than 8-0? (I attempted to answer, and the semi-coherent result can be viewed above.)

At 6-2, the Falcons would be seen as one of the NFL’s half-dozen best teams and folks would be calling them one of a handful of Super Bowl contenders. At 8-0, the emphasis has fallen on their perceived weaknesses (as opposed to their considerable) strengths, and the national media has fallen all over itself to tell us that the NFL’s lone undefeated team isn’t a Super Bowl lock.

I’m not blameless. I critiqued the team after the narrow victory over Oakland andwasn’t effusive in my findings, and the next day I noted that the Falcons’ stats weren’t half as impressive as their record. But at some point — and I’d submit we’re getting pretty close to it — doesn’t the record become the only stat that matters?

This isn’t to suggest the Falcons are a Super Bowl lock. They aren’t. No team is. But they’re the only team that’s 8-0, and by sticking their head above the field they’ve become a target. Not sure that’s fair, but what ever is?

112 comments Add your comment

After further review...

November 6th, 2012
5:13 pm

No team is ever a Super Bowl lock. As much as I would like to see the Falcons go undefeated for the season, I’d rather see them take a loss in the regular season and go undefeated in the playoffs. Given the way New Orleans, Tampa, and Carolina are playing this year, the Falcons should win theirdivision, and certainly have the potential to have home-fiels advantage throughout the playoffs. THekey is what they do with that edge.

Zach

November 6th, 2012
5:14 pm

Aaaah the Northeast media are just mad that the Falcons are doing so well after they predicted them to be 3rd place in the division. Haters gonna Hate

Rise Up # 9

November 6th, 2012
5:17 pm

9-0 is the next part of the process.

doggoneit

November 6th, 2012
5:17 pm

Enter your comments here

doggoneit

November 6th, 2012
5:21 pm

Lovin the Falcons since before Barkowski: These Falcons are different Mark and you can sense it! There is something special about them.

loyal fan

November 6th, 2012
5:23 pm

collinsworth would certainly agree

Mark Bradley

November 6th, 2012
5:24 pm

Wouldn’t disagree, doggoneit.

loyal fan

November 6th, 2012
5:33 pm

Thanks MB,When we beat dallas S.C.led off with,Cowboys lose,not Birds are 8 & 0.Then the comments were made by the talkin heads that we havent won a playoff game under the current regime.Im confused when was the last time dallas won one.15 16 years ago.

Mark Bradley

November 6th, 2012
5:36 pm

loyal fan makes a great point: Three times this season the Falcons have played “big” games — and all three times the emphasis afterward was on the losers (Peyton, Eagles, Cowboys).

chuck

November 6th, 2012
5:40 pm

My favorite part: 3rd and long deep in our own territory with about a minute left and one timeout. What do we do? Old Falcons: run the ball, make Cowboys call a timeout, punt, pray defense holds up before the half. New Falcons: drop back and let Matty Ice go to work. Coach’s faith is rewarded. Result: FG and momentum shifted.

Bill

November 6th, 2012
5:41 pm

While all of us would like to have seen the Falcons do better in the playoffs over the past few years, I’m amazed that losing to the eventual champions in both 2010 & 2011 (Packers and Giants) should earn the team the tag of “unable to win a playoff game”.

GT Alum

November 6th, 2012
5:43 pm

The way the media sees it, it’s just another team from Loserville (another topic MB loves). Not sure how the Dawgs have escaped that curse and actually managed to become a media darling, other than being one of the better teams in the SEC (better, not one of the best, though).

Nothing will change until they win in the playoffs, and even if they win a Super Bowl, I wonder if the media will fawn all over them like they have NO.

chem

November 6th, 2012
5:46 pm

Brad, if you break down the PF vs. the PA — ala Bill James Pythagorean expectation — a 6-2 record makes more sense. They’re still a great team at 8-0 or 6-2, but the numbers say it’s unlikely that they’ll continue to escape so many close games.

1990_Champs_GT

November 6th, 2012
6:01 pm

I’ve been a fan since I started watching football when I was five. I’ve seen lots of bad/good teams, coaches, etc., but I’ve never seen a team like this one. Not even the team that beat the Vikings to go to the Super Bowl (which to date is the greatest game in Falcon history).

Something’s in the air this year. It feels different. I just want to believe that feeling is a Super Bowl victory!

Ricnic31

November 6th, 2012
6:04 pm

(numbers say it’s unlikely that they’ll continue to escape so many close games.)

They have so far. What makes a good team a great team? Winning the close ones.

P Man

November 6th, 2012
6:08 pm

I think internally the Falcons might feel like they have lost a couple of games, even though the record shows 8-0. They know there is stuff to work on…

Ross

November 6th, 2012
6:10 pm

Who cares what the media says about the falcons, everybody wants to evaluate. I have been a fan since 1970, lets just enjoy this season !

1990_Champs_GT

November 6th, 2012
6:11 pm

@ GT Alum:

I think the media will fall in love with whoever they find marketable. We’re not flashy enough. We don’t have the pedigree of the Niners, Cowboys or Steelers. We don’t have the Hurricane Katrina recovery as a “heart warming” backdrop to our success.

We’re just the plain old Atlanta Falcons: Never did nothin’ and never will.

But I don’t care about being a “media darling.” I want a season, just one season, that makes my team a Super Bowl champion. Something they can’t take away from us.

That’s all any of us should want.

GB's Hamburgers

November 6th, 2012
6:16 pm

Falcons management has assembled a group of players that are not unlike those on most NFL rosters with one exception. They have chosen to sign players who seem to rise to the occasion — something you just can’t teach. It’s the kind of thing you saw in both quarterbacks in the LSU/Bama game and you don’t see in Murray. They are bending the game to their will. Ryan is awesome under the new OC.

Truckstop

November 6th, 2012
6:23 pm

Someone please tell why its so important that the media embrace the Falcons. What if the Falcons win the Super Bowl and never be recognized by the football world as a great or even good team? Would it matter? Seriously, what’s the big deal of having to have the media embrace you.

Actually, not being recognized is a good thing – it will keep them hungry and it helps them avoid getting fat off all the hyperbole.

Falcons – just win the Big One and let the football world decide how they want to handle it.

Hillbilly D

November 6th, 2012
6:27 pm

Would the Falcons be getting nitpicked if they were 6-2?

Of course they would. See MB, lots of us have been watching this since 1966. There’s only one way to make believers out of some of us.

As far as the media embracing the Falcons (or any other team for that matter), who cares? I believe that has absolutely zero to do with how a team does on the field.

Name Changed to Avoid Moderation

November 6th, 2012
6:31 pm

The Football talking heads (this means you Terry Bradshaw) can’t beleive what they are seeing and therefore have decided to stick their heads in the sand and pretend it does not exist. Let me tell them this…

The 2012 Falcons are for real. No swagger, no trash talk, no internal hype, just getting the job done every week.

Sorry, Collinsworth. The Cowboys lost to a superior team. Deal with it and RECOGNIZE.

Chester

November 6th, 2012
6:42 pm

Leave it to the forever put upon teck fans to come,on here lamenting and whining about how much press the dawgs get in an article about the falcons. You poor, pathetic nerds never get any respect and never will.

Stinger 2

November 6th, 2012
6:42 pm

Mark: Yes they would but more by the fans than the media if they were 6-2.
As from the media, I would say they would not have drawn as much attention. Record wise they would be lumped with 3 or 4 other teams who would share the good and bad
stories with the Falcons.

jerry

November 6th, 2012
6:43 pm

They are getting nitpicked because they are 0-3 in the playoffs. Why wouldn’t people have doubts? It’s possible they won’t even be 13-3, the record of the team that got blasted by the Packers on their own home field in the playoffs. Then again maybe they will win the SB, who knows?

sherlock

November 6th, 2012
6:47 pm

A few years ago, i would have just hoped they could compete on the big stage.
How times change, I now expect them to win.

Point is moot, but will always wonder if MSmith would have booted Mularkey.

Ted M

November 6th, 2012
6:52 pm

“and the national media has fallen all over itself to tell us that the NFL’s lone undefeated team isn’t a Super Bowl lock.”

“has fallen all over itself” is the stupid part of that statement I suppose. Ultimately the statement is true…the Falcon’s are absolutely not a Super Bowl lock.

Butler9

November 6th, 2012
6:56 pm

The reason the Falcons’ opponents have garnered more attention is simple: It’s much more interesting to watch and discuss a train wreck than to discuss one that is operating according to schedule. Isn’t that why ‘reality television’ is so popular?

Ted M

November 6th, 2012
6:57 pm

But no other team in the NFL is a Super Bowl lock either. I would say Grn Bay is the closest.

"Chef" Tim Dix

November 6th, 2012
6:59 pm

Media likes sizzle. Falcons to this point have been nothing but steak.

Ted M

November 6th, 2012
7:02 pm

I don’t think you can equate reality TV to the NFL in any way shape or form.

Atlanta as a professional sports town has been a perennial loser for running 40 years…its gonna take more then an 8-0 start to overcome that.

Buzzman

November 6th, 2012
7:03 pm

One of the reason why everyone is against the Falcons is they are a complete Team. They don’t go out trashing everyone, they just do the job quietly and just get out of town. This team has really grown up and acting like a team. Congrats to all of the Falcons. You make me proud. You don’t see Matt acting like a superman, or spiderman or some cartoon character. They are acting like businessman and just getting the job done. Thank you Falcons…

FootballTopFan(c)

November 6th, 2012
7:09 pm

The Atlanta Falcons have the best record in the National Football League !!!!!

Football Top Fan and football fans worldwide enjoy watching them play.

Coach Mike Smith and his staff have a great team that is the envy of other NFL teams.

We predicted in pre-season that the Atlanta Falcons will win The Super Bowl !!!!!

FootballTopFan@Yahoo.com

baako

November 6th, 2012
7:12 pm

I don’t care what the media thinks about us… We are on the field to win the game, point-blank, period. I’m pretty sure that if we keep winning games, everything else will work itself out. If you recall, back in ’98 the media was so sure that Minnesota was gon win the game that the Super Bowl program said “Denver Broncos vs. Minnesota Vikings”. The moral of the story is… we won’t receive national recognition even WHEN we win the Super Bowl. One other thing, the Falcons, their fans, and their city knows that we haven’t won in the playoffs under Mike Smith and Matty Ice… but I will submit two facts. One, we have lost to the eventual champions twice, and the NFC champions all three years. Two, Peyton Manning, the guy that all the “experts” compare Matt Ryan to, didn’t win for YEARS… as a matter of fact, he lost the National Championship game while at UT and a nobody(Tee Martin) won with basically the same team the next year. Winning is a process… and if it were so easy, then it wouldn’t be so special. So I’m gon enjoy the victories… no other team can say that they are UNDEFEATED!!!

loyal fan

November 6th, 2012
7:27 pm

M.B. Mabey it is a good thing,playing the no respect card.They seem 2 be using it as their rallyimg cry.I remember in 98 Dan R.had open heart surgery right b4 the playoffs and along with our surprize 14&2 record we were the talk of the leauge.Then Mr.Robertson pulled his little stunt.I still think that embarrassment cost us national and local sentiment.

Banshee29

November 6th, 2012
7:45 pm

Keep winning….everything else will fall into place.

dawg4u

November 6th, 2012
7:49 pm

As a Falcon fan since ‘66 at age 12 I would have to say that this is a really special time for us Falcon fans. The fact that we are 8-0 is so good and the fact that a 13-3 final record would be a disappointment this year is a testament to the fine season we have had thus far. I still think we would be nitpicked Mark even if we went 16-0 (which I doubt) but as you pointed out – the first playoff games aren’t scheduled until January. I can never remember the Falcons as having the best record in football at any time in any season. The magical season of ‘98 when we went 14-2 – the Vikings finished at 15-1. This season just really feels special and I salute the players and coaches and exhort them to keep it going through the season and ratchet it up during the playoffs this time. No more 48-21 or 24-2 teams live here anymore.

JASon

November 6th, 2012
7:54 pm

“The national media has fallen all over itself to tell us that the NFL’s lone undefeated team isn’t a Super Bowl lock.”

The national media is contractually obligated to support the cowboys, steelers, giants, and eagles.

Can you think of anything more difficult than being the team that every team wants to beat?

MSU mother

November 6th, 2012
8:07 pm

Been telling my husband all year that these guys are different, that they’re finding a way to win. That’s what sets a good team apart from a great team.

SawThat1nce

November 6th, 2012
9:04 pm

I don’t know why the Eagles/Falcons game was considered “a big game”,
the Eagles don’t look like a very good team to me.
Granny could walk right through that OLine, using a walker.
Maybe the Eagles should just get their offensive linemen some matador outfits and red capes.
Then they could just ole’ their opponents pass rush right on to poor ole Micheal Vick, with some style.

DawgNole

November 6th, 2012
9:07 pm

The Falcons–like their ATL pro sports bretheren–have spent most of the past 46 seasons shriveling from the big stage/national spotlight. Until they can overcome that nemesis, they won’t earn the respect of the pro football world/media.

This Falcons’ season so far represents an significant step toward shedding that dreadful “Losersville” label, but they’ll have to win those “big ones” you cited on a consistent basis to convert their many skeptics, who can validate their criticisms simply by pointing to the team’s miserable postseason history.

loyal fan

November 6th, 2012
9:11 pm

Age Gap Match………….wat the crap are u talkin about.This is a football blog buddy .Think your on the wrong website.

Jt

November 6th, 2012
9:15 pm

Mark. Here is what we know about the Falcons. They have beaten opponents when they were not the best that day overall. They are going to get first round bye and homefield probably. They do not beat themselves- in turnovers or penalties or dropped passes. They give up yards but not points. They could lose on any given day and they can beat you any day. The problem I see in national media is that looking at the Philly game and then the Dallas game, there is NO SET of current data that could lead someone to pick those teams to beat the Falcons and yet they did. This team lost its best cover corner in preseason. Played last week w/o its current best defensive player and does nothing but win. They have an attitude and pay attention to detail. I think that combination CAN take them all the way-doesn’t mean that it will. But this team is better than the last 4 years. We shall see.

Whopper Dawg

November 6th, 2012
9:25 pm

Good job Mark logically sticking up for the home team.

I am afraid they are not good enough in some fundemental areas to beat the better teams despite Ryan’s areial circus (and well done Matt). Oline both pass protection and run blocking, Dline both pass rush and rush defense will do us in against the better teams,

But we are getting closer and great season so far.

KCFalcon

November 6th, 2012
9:39 pm

It the same as what’s been said since Tony Gonzalez comments of last week. National people don’t believe. Heck some local people don’t either. Only one thing with change it. Winning the Super Bowl.

Hey the Falcon s are a reletively new player in this group of the elite teams. Most of the big boys have won it all.And they are basically longstanding traditional teams who’ve been round for a long time. But I’ll tell you this- from my standpoint it seems like a number of folks and outlets really DO want the Falcons to lose and hope they lose in January. The Falcons are the party crashers, and a threat to the establishment. These are the people who want to tell you, as soon as possible, ‘I told you so.’

And yet the Falcons are still unbeaten, and I don’t think they’ve played close to the best they can in a number of the games this season. I’m telling you there’s a lot left in this team that we haven’t seen at full capacity yet. If this team ever begins to run the ball more consistently, coupled with this passing game, look out!

REAL FALCONS FAN

November 6th, 2012
10:01 pm

the pundits are doing what they do best,after all their opinions AND AFTER ALL IS SAID AND DONE THE PUNDITS WILL HAVE SAID A LOT ,AND WHAT THEY HAVE DONE {NOTHING} WILL HAVE NO EFFECT ON THESE FALCONS. WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE THERE IS ALWAYS A LOT MORE SAYIN THAN DOIN.

Jay

November 6th, 2012
10:11 pm

Only played one team with a winning record. Next week makes 1 opponent in 9 games against teams with a winning record. Beat the giants and then they will get the respect. It’s that simple. NO, Car and tb wins won’t do it.

Jay

November 6th, 2012
10:43 pm

Amazing when you think about it. Played half your games and only one against a team with a winning record. Even mo amazing is as of right now, as the schedule appears, falcons play just two teams all year with a winning record. Beat az and tb and no and you will only have two teams all year with a winning record. And that assumes denver keeps winning.

waynester

November 6th, 2012
10:52 pm

“chef”
well put!
dawg4u and KCFalcon are right on target. Winning cures all ills. Just keep winning….

BDK

November 6th, 2012
10:58 pm

When the Falcons win on sunday against one of ESPN”s darlings, The Saints, then I would expect the Falcons to finally get some love. Sooner or later a teams record does matter. You don’t get to be 9-0 because of luck and playing bad teams. Go Falcons!