The 2017 Falcons are 2-0, unbeaten, unscathed. As thrilling as the last-minute win against the Bears and public shaming of the Packers were, what are the long-term implications on the psychology of the team by winning these games? We all remember how 2015 went—a 5-0 start followed by the most uninspired football a Dan Quinn-led team has ever played.
Stay with me here—it would be a good thing for the Falcons to lose a game, and soon.
Look, this team is already under enough pressure this season—I don’t exactly need to explain why. Ending this season any other way than hoisting the Lombardi will be seen as a failure. The Falcons already have an emotionally-taxing game coming in the near weeks, the rematch with Dirty Tom and the Belichick boys. You can bet every player in the Falcons’ locker room has drawn a big circle around that game in red and black ink.
Assuming Atlanta enters that game undefeated, it adds an extra layer of unneeded pressure. They already know how badly they need to win this game, trying to keep an undefeated season alive is just really not that important in the grand scheme of things. Get the win, get out, and get ready for the playoffs.
The Falcons are already favorites to win this week in Detroit, and you can bet that they’ll also be favorites in the upcoming weeks against the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins.
Imagine the Falcons do go undefeated—they’d enter the playoffs with an even bigger target on their backs. As cool as it would be to completely run the table and win the Super Bowl 28-3 against the Patriots, the odds of that happening are the same as the Saints making the playoffs—it ain’t happening.
By losing a game, it lets the team know that they are vulnerable each and every week and brings them back down to Earth—a reminder that they truly do have to prepare to the furthest extent to help secure a victory. Winning every week would naturally make a team relax and think, “we got this”—that’s when you get sucker punched.
If the Falcons drop a game against a team like the Seahawks or the Vikings, no one will really bat an eye, and the pressure to stay undefeated goes away, letting the team focus more on the week-to-week view rather than be tempted to look at the bigger picture of going 19-0.
The 2017 season is already one of the most unique in the team’s history. They have so much to prove, so many questions to answer, and so much to deal with off the field after the epic collapse. As if that isn’t enough, trying to maintain the pressure of a perfect season could be too much for one team in one season. Though, if there’s any guy that I would trust to properly deal with that pressure, it’s Quinn, but I’m not exactly in any rush to pile on more weight to the back of this team.
What do you think? Would chasing a perfect season add too much pressure to the team, or would it be the perfect distraction? You can click here to see the odds for all NFL matches: