If it hasn't hit you yet...this is it. The Atlanta Falcons are mathematically disqualified from playoff contention and Tony Gonzalez is going to play the last 6 games of his career in the next 1 and 1/2 months. During halftime of the Falcons-Bucs game, Michael Strahan said the Falcons look like they just wanted to get this season over with. I believe him.
The Falcons didn't just lack good defensive play, good offensive execution (when it mattered), and good mental decisions; they lacked heart. The Falcons played as if they just gave up on football. For most of theses guys, this is uncharted territory. Guys like Matt Ryan, Harry Douglas, Sean Weatherspoon, Thomas Decoud, and William Moore have never experienced a regular season in which Atlanta lost 8 or more games. In fact, Weatherspoon has never had a season in which Atlanta hasn't WON less than 10 games. With that being said, I can understand their frustration and desire to get 2013 over with.
But think about this: veterans like Roddy White, Jonathon Babineaux, Tony Gonzalez, and Steven Jackson have been on teams that were just awful. More specifically, Steven Jackson has NOT been on a team that won at least 9 games since 2005. These are the guys that the entire Falcons' locker room need to turn to in order to stay positive in a very negative season. These guys need to step up and make sure the team prepares for the last 6 games the same way they did for the first 2 or so games of this season.
Preparing properly is very vital this week because the Falcons host rival New Orleans on Thursday. It's not possible for Atlanta to win the NFC South this year but they can spoil the seeding of whoever the new NFC South champ is. At this point in the season, it's either New Orleans or Carolina. With a match-up against the Carolina Panthers in week 17, who knows what Atlanta could spoil in that game. Of course, this implies that the Falcons have to play well enough to win. And to be honest, if Atlanta continues to play the way they have since beating Tampa Bay on Oct. 20, they won't get another win.
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