Accept It: The Falcons Are Awful
The psychological community often explains the five stages of grief as the various emotions felt by someone experiencing loss or their own mortality. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are the stages that can be experienced in any order as one experiences loss.
Or in the case of the Atlanta Falcons, many losses.
These 2-5 Falcons are what their record indicates - they are a bad NFL team. Their offensive line is poor. Their defensive line has the fearsomeness of a kitten. And the result of all of their injuries has now exposed a thin roster with little experience beyond the high-priced talent.
This might be hard to swallow but the sooner one can come to terms with what these Falcons are, the sooner one can move on to fixing it in 2014. But some Atlanta fans have not quite reached the acceptance stage.
Common Fan Denial
“We lost on the goal line in New Orleans."
"We were beat in the final minute against the Dolphins and the Jets. We’re better than our record indicates.”
In the NFL, you are what you are. 2-5 is still 2-5. There is not an additional record kept for games barely lost.
Common Fan Anger
“We didn’t get that call against New England!"
"How come every team is holding Tony Gonzalez and the refs aren’t calling it!"
"The angle on that replay wasn’t good enough to overturn that bad call. The league must hate the Falcons!”
Common Fan Bargaining
“If only we had drafted a pass rusher in the first round."
"If only we kept Tyson Clabo and Todd McClure.”
“If only we hadn’t given Matt Ryan that big contract, we would have been able to keep more players.”
Common Fan Depression
“I’m not watching these guys anymore this season.”
And Finally, Acceptance
“This team sucks.”
The Falcons are no longer 10 yards away from the Super Bowl. The window for a championship has closed on the older veterans in this group. Accept it. This team must accept what its has become and use the next few offseasons to improve its deficiencies before its has any shot of contending once again.