The highs and the lows have made just about everybody a little queasy entering the off-season. Whether or not we get one more trip on the Winston roller coaster experience, it’s going to be nerve racking to say the least, when 2020 comes around.
For now though, we’ve got a game to revisit. And we’re looking at it through the lens of the Falcoholics.
WARNING: LANGUAGE IN THE FOLLOWING IMAGES IS LIKELY TO BE NSFW.
*Comments collected from thefalcoholic.com
A BUMP IN THE NIGHT
Just a few evenings before the Falcons and Buccaneers faced off to end the year, owner Arthur Blank solidified his decision to keep general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn for the 2020 season.
Fans of the franchise - and just about everyone else - was expecting Quinn to be fired at a minimum. So if they felt a stirring the night before, it was apparently the sealing of their fates entering the next decade of Falcons football.
At least they were taking it in stride though. Not really. The entire game was basically spent complaining about one or both of these guys. Or Dirk Koetter.
THE GREATEST TRICK...
All week long, the Buccaneers secondary probably prepared long and hard for the likes of Julio Jones and Matt Ryan. Sure, the Falcons have struggled on and off in 2019, but the duo is still one of the better pairings in the NFL.
What they didn’t prepare for, was All-Pro caliber tight end, Ty Sambrailo.
If you don’t know who he is, then it’s weird you’re reading this after not watching the game. Because if you watched the game, he was the 315lbs OFFENSIVE LINEMAN who scampered his way to a 35-yard catch and run for the first score of the game.
How do you beat a defense who’s been locking down receivers week in and week out? Simple. Throw to the guy nobody knows is even on the field.
This next comment snapshot might look confusing. Are they talking about a Ronald Jones fumble recovered by Atlanta linebacker Deion Jones? Or still talking about the brilliant call by Dirk Koetter to throw to an offensive lineman?
Yes. To both. Because the plays happened so close together, some fans were still talking about one while the other was happening.
Good news for the Buccaneers was, Sambrailo was probably still getting oxygen on the sideline, so Atlanta’s secret weapon would need a while to recharge before being deployed again.
KICKERS AREN’T PEOPLE TOO
Falcons fans are apparently too good for field goal kickers, because just about nobody commented when their own made a kick to put them up 10-0. And still nothing when Matt Gay missed his first attempt (But Wait! There’s More!) as well.
So we fast forward about thirty real-time minutes, to Tampa Bay’s first touchdown of the game. Previous to the two-yard connection with tight end Cameron Brate, Winston hooked up with Breshad Perriman for a 24-yard strike which put the fifth year quarterback over the 5,000-yard mark for the season. Becoming only the eighth quarterback in the NFL to do so.
KICKING FOR ATTENTION
The Falcons followed the Bucs’ touchdown with another field goal, extending their lead to 13-7. And Atlanta fans finally paid attention! Well, one did. Shout out to Ryan Harder. I think.
EXPECTING THE WORST
Remember when being a Bucs fan meant expecting your favorite team to find a way to wreck any and all momentum they have in a game? Yeah, Falcons fans know the feeling.
Matt Ryan’s fumble, caused by Jason Pierre-Paul, was returned 91-yards by rookie Devin White, and a made kick by Gay gave the Bucs a 14-13 lead.
All of this despite the Falcons starting the possession at the Tampa Bay 19-yard line following a Jameis Winston interception.
While Buccaneers fans are pining over having a field goal kicker who can come through for their team every week, the Falcons really don’t seem to appreciate theirs.
Younghoe Koo (if you laughed, you’re a child) made a field goal with less than one minute remaining in the first half, but you wouldn’t know if from the comments.
WR1, BRESHAD PERRIMAN
No Mike Evans? No Chris Godwin? Just throw it to Breshad Perriman. The Buccaneers had 58 seconds, but only needed 47. Perriman connected with Jameis Winston for 55 of the 76-yards needed to score, including 24 on the 50/50 ball the wide receiver brought in over a certain Falcons linebacker.
Campbell is his name. I think. Lets ask Falcons fans.
NOW YOU RECOGNIZE THE KICKER?!
Apparently, to get attention from fans of the Atlanta Falcons as a kicker, all you have to do is miss three field goals. Simple enough.
Still, the attention quickly turned back to coach Quinn, who apparently is a bad coach because his defense wasn’t allowing touchdowns. Hmmmm...
WHEN IS FREE FOOTBALL, BAD FOOTBALL?
Answer: When both teams are eliminated from the playoffs and both fan bases want draft position, not wins.
Even the television commentator was trying to get Matt Millen to say the Falcons should go for the win in regulation instead of tying it with another field goal by Koo.
Notice, zero comment about the Falcons kicker who made four field goals to keep his team in the game.
One fan actually wrote, and I quote,
“Noooooo” - DC_SuperFan
ONE WIN, MANY REACTIONS
On the first play of overtime, Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston threw a tipped pass which was then intercepted by Deion Jones and returned for a game ending touchdown.
Falcons fans were pleased. And unhappy about finishing second place in the NFC South. And in love. And reserved to their fate. All at once.
This was a fun group to hang out with.
With that, the 2019 NFL season came to a close for the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And starts the clock on my nine month recovery from diving into the psyche of opposing fan bases.
We’ll have to do it again next year. Hope you enjoyed it. Talk to you soon.