It is hard to imagine an Atlanta Falcons fan getting over the team’s Super Bowl 51 collapse after holding a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots in the third quarter. Some teams have never been to the Super Bowl. For quarterback Matt Ryan, he is focused on moving forward and not thinking about the loss, as stated by Sporting News. If Atlanta returns to the big game this year, they will be the first losing Super bowl team since the Buffalo Bills to lose the Super Bowl and go back. The Bills lost 4 consecutive Super Bowls from 1991 to 1994. Ryan is confident that the team can be the NFC Champions again.

A way to rise above

It is tough to get into the playoffs in the NFL. There are only 6 possible spots for each conference. Aside from the New England Patriots, who consistently make the post-season and usually win the AFC east division, different NFL teams make the playoffs. Making it to the Super Bowl one year does not mean that the same team will even come in as a wildcard the following year. For instance, the Carolina Panthers did not even post a winning record this year. They ended up at 6-10. Also, the Denver Broncos missed the playoffs this year. It may be tough for Atlanta to shake off the crushing loss of Super Bowl 51.

The trap of free agency

Keeping the same players each year has become difficult with free agency.

Most athletes go for the big money contracts and team loyalty falls by the wayside. Fortunately, the Falcons have managed to keep most of their top players. Running backs Davante Freeman and Tevin Coleman will be back with the team. Julio Jones is set to start as the number one receiver for the Falcons. This consistency will help the team get back to the big game and maybe win it.

If the AFC opponent is the Patriots, that would make it even more memorable. The only sore spot is that Atlanta did lose lead blocker and fullback Patrick Dimarco to Buffalo during the offseason.

Following in the footsteps of the Buffalo Bills?

Atlanta is a high-scoring offense, which mirrors the Buffalo Bills of the 1990’s.

Armed with K-gun quarterback Jim Kelly, the Bills’ use of the no-huddle offense gassed defenses and put points on the board quickly. With the help of center Kent Hull, Kelly would call his own plays at the line. It was either a pass to Andre Reed, James Lofton, or Don Beebe, or a running play for Thurman Thomas. Not many teams could stop Buffalo from scoring.

The Falcons are built the same way. They have solid powerhouse running backs in Coleman and Freeman. Yet, they also have the dangerous Julio Jones, as well as Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel to pull in the football. Even though New England won the Super Bowl in overtime, for 3 quarters the Patriots had no answer for Atlanta’s offense. Can they repeat that same success next season, and possibly top it off with a Super Bowl win this time?