Home » Blog » Falcons have to ward off Super Bowl hangover

Falcons have to ward off Super Bowl hangover

When you are winning a preseason game 28-3 late in the third quarter and lose, the locker room isn’t going to be pleasant afterwards. If you do that in the Super Bowl, you are going to have that contest play over in your head as a recurring nightmare for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately for the Atlanta Falcons, that is their plight moving forward. However, the players who endured that feat have the rest of their lives to think about what might have been. Now, the task is to move forward, hoping to get back into the Big Game and erase the painful memories created on that fateful February night in Houston.

For his part, it appears running back Devonta Freeman is having a tough time with that task. Freeman, who rushed for 75 yards on 11 carries against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, was still talking about it this week, stating his displeasure with his role down the stretch. Per ESPN:

“I hate to go there, but I was supposed to be the MVP this year of the Super Bowl, but it’s all good, we got another shot,” the Falcons running back said Wednesday on SiriusXM Blitz.

“I don’t want to make this no competition thing with me and my quarterback [Matt Ryan, the NFL MVP]. I’m just talking about from based off that game. Let’s [say] it like this: If I would have kept getting the ball, if I would have stayed in the game, I don’t know why I got out of the game actually.”

For Freeman and the Falcons, the time to move on has come. Training camp starts in late July with preseason games following a few weeks later. Come September 7, the Kansas City Chiefs and Patriots kick off the regular season on a nationally-televised Thursday night affair.

Last year, we witnessed the struggle of a team trying to overcome a Super Bowl loss. The Carolina Panthers went 15-1 in 2015, cruised through the NFC playoffs and then lost as the favorite against the Denver Broncos. Carolina could never get that mojo back in 2016, going a measly 6-10. Atlanta should take note of its NFC South counterpart and forget about the past, with it only serving as a painful reminder of defeat.

If the Falcons can move on, there is more than enough talent to make another run. Freeman is part of an offense that includes Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Alex Mack, while the defense is spearheaded by Vic Beasley Jr., Desmond Trufant, Deion Jones, Dontari Poe and Robert Alford. Atlanta is the favorite to repeat in the South and could very well end up challenging for another Super Bowl appearance.

That is, if it can forget about the last one.

  • 100%