FALCONS UNDER PRESSURE TO REPEAT
The numbers are daunting. 24 seasons and counting the loser of the Super Bowl can’t find their way back to the big game. There are so many different reasons each time that the former champions fail, but one often goes to talk of the hangover. I don’t believe in that narrative it all, but I do think turning the page is important.
Imagine being faced with your biggest failure in life. The Falcons 25 point blown lead in the Super Bowl certainly fits the bill. Then to motivate you to right the wrong, your parents or boss decide to remind you of it every day. I think that is a disaster strategy. Every day being hit over the head with your defeat is not the way to spur on success.
I believe the Falcons window has just opened. I also don’t think that they have to win the NFC Championship in 2017 in order to consider things successful. Taking the right mental approach is monumental to success. Dan Quinn seems to be a master at the mind games. I am confident he will avoid rehashing the loss and set his team up for a fantastic 2017!
AFTER A WEEK WITH THE BRAVES...
I am always cautious about not getting drunk on Spring Training optimism. Mainly because of the fact that I always seem to come back from Orlando feeling better about the Braves than when I arrived. That is dangerous. The last two seasons I have over estimated the Braves win total by 7 games both years. This year I wanted to make an informed choice, but I’ve done it again. I left Orlando predicting an 80 win season.
The Braves over/under number in the Vegas Sportsbooks is at 73.5
Smarter people than I calculate those totals. Last year they came in within 3 wins over or under the number on 72% of the MLB teams. I sense 80 is an optimistic number. I like the lineup and the veteran additions to the rotation. I’ve heard people tossing around a wild card berth in the post season but on average that would require 88 wins. That is a 20 game improvement and I don’t see that happening. Gotta say that the Swanson back spasms are reason to be concerned no matter what someone tries to convince you. It’s scary to miss this much time in March.
I’ll stay at 80 barring any roster additions. I see a step forward in 2017 but it will be just a march towards mediocrity in the hopes of building something bigger down the line.
ANOTHER REASON TO LIKE KIRBY SMART
Unlike his predecessor, Kirby Smart is not into just anointing a starting QB. This week Smart publicly praised his freshman QB Jake Fromm in an obvious attempt to push Jacob Eason to success in 2017. On one hand I love it. Smart isn’t just giving guys the starting job on a seniority basis. He wants to see true competition. What worries me is that he obviously feels he needs to challenge Eason. That is a red flag. Why do you have to motivate your returning starter? What aren’t you seeing from him? I think it’s the number one Spring storyline. Drama may ensue!
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