It's the twenty-fifth Super Bowl between the Atlanta Falcons and the Denver Broncos. Last year, when the Atlanta Falcons was knocked out of the playoffs early, people were looking at the bright future of the team as a potential powerhouse. This year, the outlook is much different. The Falcons have been outscored by a total of sixty-nine points during the games they have played. They also lost three more key members of their defensive line including sack specialist Chris Washington, along with starting outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil.
The offense has been out of it so far, but that shouldn't be an excuse for what the team has done on the defensive side of the ball. The unit has allowed an average of forty points per game, with fifteen coming in the last two weeks alone. Quarterback Tony Romo has been held under forty yards passing in both of those games. Without question, the offensive line has been beat up and did not look like a team that could carry the load against a formidable opponent like the Broncos. This is why the Falcons need to find some young talent this off season, because the next step for them is finding a way to replace the production that has been taken away due to the injuries to key players on the offensive line.
The running game has been horrendous, averaging only 3.6 yards per carry for the team. Rookie running back Tauren Roberts has impressed the coaching staff enough to earn a starting role, but that doesn't mean the team has found a solution on how to properly use him. Other than Michael Vick, no other running back on the roster has proven to be effective in the passing game. With that being said, if the team can find someone on the roster that can pick up some necessary yardage, along with get some solid touches here and there, this team will survive the Super Bowl.
The defense has been similarly unimpressive, allowing an average of 25 points per game. Outside of tackle Genefloi Colon, who missed most of the year with an ankle sprain, this unit has been poor at slowing down the opposing offense. Safety Dashon Goldson and corners Deion Hollister and Robert McClain haven't been quality at their positions. The pass rush has been nonexistent and turnover opportunities have been non-existent. That combination leaves this Super Bowl team at a big risk of going winless in the championship game. They will need help and quickly.
This year's team isn't playing the best football in the history of the franchise, but they aren't getting any help. Fans are losing patience and rightfully so. Don't expect a new stadium anytime soon, as construction on the existing one is still very much on the way. The NFL has a unique move with the Super Bowl, which is that it moves the teams from their home stadiums into temporary locker rooms during the game, which makes for very few logistical issues.
If the fans of Atlanta want real change, then they might just have to settle for something less than what they're getting these days. Don't sit there, complaining, hoping for change. Find something to root for, or start finding ways to enjoy your favorite team even more. Atlanta isn't going anywhere. Make it your own.
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