After the Atlanta Falcons’ collapse in the Super Bowl, many questioned if they could overcome that loss. They have overcome it, but how did they do it? They got better.
The Atlanta Falcons went 11-5 in 2016 and won the NFC South. They topped that off by winning the NFC Championship and going to the Super Bowl. They had an epic collapse and lost to the New England Patriots.
Many teams that lose the Super Bowl end up having a disappointing follow-up season. Considering how the Falcons lost the Super Bowl, many expected them to let the loss put a damper on the 2017 season.
However, instead of starting the season in a funk, the Falcons have come out 2-0. They lost offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to the San Francisco 49ers to become their head coach. However, the Falcons offense has picked up right where it left off last season.
Quarterback Matt Ryan is among the élite quarterbacks in the NFL and the reigning MVP. Wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman are also among the best at their positions and committed to a return to the Super Bowl. The depth is better offense and defense as well.
Defensive end Vic Beasley is out with a strained hamstring he suffered against the Green Bay Packers. While losing a pass rusher like Vic Beasley would kill most teams defense, the Falcons defense still has pass rushers to turn to in his absence.
This is one of the reasons the Falcons drafted rookie Takk McKinley with their first round pick. McKinley isn’t Vic Beasley yet but his presence helps make up for the loss. Brooks Reed, De’Vondre Campbell and Adrian Clayborn are good pass rushers too.
Young talent on defense
The young players on defense like Campbell, Deion Jones, and Keanu Neal have improved as well and Desmond Trufant has become a shut down corner. The Falcons front office has is on a roll, drafting well and signing good free agents like Alex Mack, Mohammed Sanu and Dontari Poe.
The Falcons defense is opportunistic and adapts to whatever is put in front of it. Which as we saw against the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. Some quarterbacks like Rodgers you can’t shut them down completely, you need the versatility to make plays against them at the right time. The Falcons have that.
And while they lost Kyle Shanahan, the Falcons still have head coach Dan Quinn. I love the way he carries himself and his positivity is infectious. Unlike some coaches, Dan Quinn always focuses on the positive, and that is huge in helping the Falcons move on from that Super Bowl.
The team also gets a boost from the amazing Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The atmosphere is outstanding and it will be hard for teams to come in there and win. MBS puts the entire franchise on another level. Owner Arthur Blank and the City of Atlanta did a great job.
So this is how a team overcomes a disastrous Super Bowl loss. Use it as motivation to improve. The Atlanta Falcons were good last year, and even though made it to the Super Bowl, they still had flaws. Many of which have been addressed, and that means trouble for the rest of the NFC.