The 2013 Atlanta Falcons, an 8 headed monster
The hunger to win The Super Bowl for every player in the NFL is an insatiable famine. Combine that fact with an extraordinarily talented, starving and thirsty unit, add in a freshly acquired future hall of fame member with no winning seasons during his elongated career, then augment another championship deprived future hall of fame member into the monster; and there lies a creature with the appetite equivalent to that of a blood hungry vampire in a post-apocalyptic world, the unstoppable kind of hunger that won’t go away without obtaining fulfillment of that which they desire.
For any team in the NFL with aspirations of joining the ranks of the superlative, a battle proven and horrific monster lurks in the midst, patiently waiting for their incursion to arise. Many brave warriors will attempt to defeat the mighty beast; but only the most excellent, fortified, and well equipped will be able to stand a fighting chance for a victory. This monster is terrifying to prepare for due to its eight ferocious heads, voracious hunger, and its last man standing goal set and mentality. It thrives on battle, and will travel to far away territories to achieve its goal; there is nowhere to run. It will not falter on foreign ground, and for those whom initiate attack on its territory, will learn the wrath of the colossal beast. The eight daunting heads attached to this monster are unpredictable, and can evenly strike from long distances with tremendous speed and force. Each head is its own different creature, and is equally dangerous to contend with. Each head also has its own allegory and battle scars. The heads of this distressing monster are individually named, the different heads that power this fabled creature are named; Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Stephen Jackson, Harry Douglas, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Snelling, and Jacquizz Rodgers. Each of the heads has the ability to confuse, obliterate, and overcome even the mightiest of opponents.
Now that establishment has been made that the offensive half of The Atlanta Falcons is the figurative monster being referred to, literal interpretation will commence. Even though the defense is a major part of the DNA which makes the frightening monster whole, the offense is the absolute nightmare. The wide receiver positions consist of all-around threats. All of the team members that fill the position are vicious. They are ultra-fast and physical competitors that are athletically superior, possess glue like hands, have precision route running skills, and will block the opposition right onto their backsides. They can run passed their opponents, or they can run them over like a freight train. They can take a five yard ball to the house, or they can be consistent deep threat receivers. They all possess the ability to leave the best defensive staffed teams in the dust. Extending the receiving forces is future hall of fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. Tony Gonzalez is deliberated as potentially the greatest tight end to ever play professional football. With his skill set, desire, presence, and hunger; the defenses must consider him as a threat on every single down. Accounting for Tony Gonzalez takes away the focus on the other ball catching players, leaving a gap in the air all game long.
Avid followers of the NFL know that it never seems to work out very well in terms of win-loss statistics when teams have star studded receiving corps with merely a mediocre quarterback at the realms. The top five league receivers could be on the same team, but their season would be over on week 12 without a decent quarterback. This is not a scenario which the Atlanta Falcons are facing. Matt Ryan is an elite quarterback. He is considered elite because of his mental and physical toughness, his avid work ethics, his understanding of the game, his seemingly effortless ability to command a no-huddle offense, his natural and earned talent, his ability to hit the target in tight places, and his class. Matt Ryan has nerves of steel under the most intense situations; this calm during the storm demeanor earned him the nickname “Matty Ice” during his reign at Boston College, a nickname that would shadow his advancement to the NFL. Matt Ryan is a warrior, a competitor, and a champion. These attributes are ostensible after watching him for just one quarter of one game.
If defenses know that a team is going to pass, they can take away the throwing dimension by blanketing the receivers with strategic play calling. Without a reliable half back to retain defensive focus, a team could not be considered a monster. Fortunately for the Atlanta Falcons, they will have future hall of fame member Stephen Jackson, speed back Jacquizz Rogers, and overall back Jason Snelling paving the way to triumphant victories. With the variable styles of the backs, defenses will never be able to become accustomed to each individuals style of play; meaning a relentless running game for defenses to attempt to contain. While the defenses are focusing so intently on the capricious half backs, the access to the play-action calls will keep the opposition’s coaches and players wide awake the night before a game; constituting the definition of a verbatim nightmare.
What are teams going to do to stop this eight headed monster? If they crowd the line, a play action pass will surely follow. If they press the receivers, Tony Gonzalez is going to become open down field. If they play man coverage, they will get burned. If they play zone coverage, Matt Ryan will drop the ball exactly into the hands of the receiving staff. If they back off coverage, they will get scorched by the versatile halfbacks. There is virtually nothing that any of the other 31 teams can do to stop this alpha male version of Medusa sort creature. The only hope that they have to contend is to be able to match the Atlanta Falcons point for point every game.
The major issue with that is that on January 17th, 2013, The Atlanta Falcons hired former San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan to take over the defensive coordinator position. The introduction of Mike Nolan to the franchise is going to mend the gaps in the team that left them slightly exposed in previous seasons. The addition of Osi Umenyiora, along with some talented and determined additions to the secondary that practice daily against some of the best receivers in the league, will ensure that teams are not going to be able to match the Atlanta Falcons on a point to point basis. It will be an interesting season watching the eight headed monster on its inexorable journey, it is guaranteed that they will leave a wake of devastation and terror behind them. Perhaps the only advisable option for the opposition is simply to run and hide. This is presumably the best advice simply because the equivalent of their worst nightmare is coming for them all in the form of an eight headed monster.