They may have lost in the NFC Championship game, but the Atlanta Falcons really played well to get where they were on Sunday. The 28-24 loss to the San Francisco 49ers will be a heartbreaker for years to come, but the ability to turn around the franchise and rise to the top four teams in the NFL is something that GM Thomas Dimitroff and new-Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell should be proud of.
I don’t know where Caldwell watched the Falcons/Niners game from, but I can only imagine that he is proud of the product on the field that he helped to build. Whether it’s Matt Ryan’s almost 400 yards passing, Julio Jones’ monster receiving day, or the time-defying play of Tony Gonzalez, the Falcons have a unique mix of talent that has made Michael Vick and the early 2000s a distant memory.
That rebuild is a difficult thing to accomplish.
Getting a coach to come in and revamp the entire team to post a 56-24 record in five years is impressive.
At all stages, the Atlanta Falcons have been set up for success. They may have only been one poorly timed fumble away from putting the game on ice in Atlanta on Sunday. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
Caldwell has an opportunity to emulate that success again in Jacksonville. The Jaguars desperately need a complete overhaul. It has already begun with Caldwell’s hiring, Gus Bradley’s installment as head coach, and the beginning of the shaping of the coaching staff. The goal is success like the Falcons. If they can make it past the conference championship, that will just be one step better.
The Falcons’ success is what gives us Jags fans hope about the turnaround of our franchise. It is a large part of why we trust Caldwell. While we are all hoping for the change that Atlanta received, it is up to Caldwell to make that change happen.
From the perspective of a 2-14 team fan, losing in the championship games seems like an awful lot of success right now.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims