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The Mess in the ATL

by Craig Edwards

Posted on December 12, 2007 at 7:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:41 PM

By Craig Edwards

It's been a tough 13 or 14 months if you're an Atlanta Falcons' fan like me. First, a promising 2006 season fizzled out into another underachieving, non-playoff, 7-9 record. Last season's lowlight was head coach Jim Mora Jr. saying he'd want the job at the University of Washington if it came available. Mora was shown the door after the season.

As lame and annoying as that whole sequence was, it was NOTHING compared to what would happen next, as the team's star quarterback pleaded guilty to charges he staged dogfights. Then, in what can only be described as the worst case of timing and bad lack, just about every major step of the legal process took place on a day the Falcons played a game on national TV.

Monday was no different, as Michael Vick got sentenced to 23 months in prison... then the Falcons went out and played horribly, losing to archrival New Orleans 34-14 on Monday Night Football.

Just when things couldn't get any worse... they did. Tuesday, head coach Bobby Petrino decided that 13 games was enough NFL head coaching for him... and ran like the wind back to the college ranks and Arkansas (for less money). The Falcons now sit 3-10.

This season is all but over and a waste, but all is not lost in the ATL. Despite their record, the team does have some good young talent, especially on defense. Rich McKay is among the best general managers in football, and Arthur Blank is a good owner. It just feels like starting from scratch with a new coach might be the best thing to do right now. If they make the right draft picks in the first couple of rounds, Atlanta could turn things around fairly quickly. It's not uncommon in the NFL.

But for us fans, it's just a shame 2007 was such a trainwreck.