A Fall to Forget

As a lifelong Falcons and Georgia fan this fall is one I hope turns into winter sooner than later and we can put this season in the rearview mirror and get ready for recruiting and the draft. To say this fall has been a sad one is an understatement to say the least. Both teams came into the season with high expectations and ones that believed both teams could be competing for championships. Both teams came off of extremely disappointing loses to end the season. The Falcons lost their final game in the NFC championship game to the San Francisco and the Bulldogs real last game (they had their bowl game but at that point no one really cared seeing it was not the National Championship) ended in the same building and practically the same yard line as the Falcons as the Bulldogs fell to Alabama in one of the most heartbreaking losses I have ever witnessed until yesterday, but I will get to that shortly.
The Falcons entered the season as a popular Super Bowl pick by many experts and it now looks as if they could have a top 5 pick. How does a team go from being a Super Bowl contender to then having the possibility of drafting Jadeveon Clowney? The answer unfortunately is simple and that is injuries. In an article written about a month ago it examines the Falcons struggles, http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24057248/nfl-stock-watch-falcons-struggles-could-linger, and how with the combination of injuries and youth the Falcons will and have struggled this season. Losing key players such as Julio Jones, Sean Weatherspoon to long injuries and Roddy White and Steven Jackson to multi game injuries the team is very different than the paper product many believed could win a Super bowl. This is a team that if healthy next year and some adjustments personnel wise could be a team once again competing for a playoff spot and maybe even a Super bowl.
Now for the Dawgs, and fortunately their season had led to more promise for the most part. After a disappointing opening loss the season seemed to be in tact with huge wins versus South Carolina and LSU. It seemed as if all the stars were aligning and with a loaded offense that could pick up a young defense the Dawgs would be back in Atlanta with a chance at another SEC Championship. Then the injury bug hit hard as the Dawgs escaped with a victory in Knoxville but the Tigers of Missouri next week proved to be too much against our banged up team. The story was the same the week after as the Dawgs lost to Vanderbilt and at that point the season seemed over. Truthfully with little hope left I was excited when we beat Florida but had no expectations of us to beat Auburn, as they are a team that has completely bounced back from an awful season last year. Through the first 3 quarters or so these expectations were met as we were down by 3 touchdowns. This all changed in the 4th quarter as the Dawgs mounted an amazing comeback and had gone up by 1 point with a little over a minute and what happened next no one could have predicted. 4th and 18, 4th and 18, really? How does this even happen, http://www.auburntigers.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/111613aab.html ? This was the saddest finish I have seen to a football game since LSU beat Kentucky in 2002 when Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks was soaked with Gatorade before the final whistle and the Wildcats ended up losing. This links compares the Blue Grass Miracle, which was the Kentucky play to what is being called the Marshall Plan, http://www.nola.com/lsu/index.ssf/2013/11/which_was_better_lsus_bluegras.html. Both plays were unbelievable but as a Georgia fan the “Marshall Plan” hits hard and truly sums up the season so far, when everything seems like its going in the right direction one thing happens and any progress that was made is taken away. Just like the old saying, “time heals all wounds” this is true for the seasons of both the Falcons and the Dawgs and at this point we can just hope and wait for spring to roll around where both teams will have new starts.

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