It's not about having great WR depth, it's about having someone competent at the No. 4 spot that if/when one of the starters goes down and in today's NFL your 3rd WR is a starter, he plays as much if not more than your starting RB.
For all of the talk about how explosive this offense is, it's tied exclusively to Julio Jones. If Jones is out of the lineup or ineffective, you have nobody on the outside that is going to stretch the defense, help you dictate coverage, and thus generate those explosive big plays down the field.
And thus you revert back to being the same tired offense you were in the pre-Julio years. The major difference is that then, when you ran the ball control offense, you could succeed at it because you had a good to very good ground game. You don't have that anymore.
They own this team yet they've won by combined 11 points if you exclude the MNF game. Stop overreacting, its really getting annoying. Saints are still a good team and its tough to win in the Superdome. If Atlanta loses to New Orleans at home, then I can see why people will be flipping out and really criticizing the Falcons. I got over it after two hours, i'm still bitter but it was bound to happen.
What was bound to happen? Losing? Sure, but I think you're missing what is the issue with a lot of people, including myself. it's not about losing, it's about losing to the Saints
Think about the Ravens-Steelers rivalry. In the Tomlin-Harbaugh Era, the Steelers owned the Ravens, as they were 6-2 against them leading up to last year. They beat them in the regular season (4x) and beat them in the playoffs (twice).
They were two similar teams with similar approaches, yet the Steelers always won when it seemed to count because they held a mental edge, essentially "out-Raven-ing" the Ravens.
Then last year, in what was it Week 1, the Ravens got over the mental hurdle and put the smackdown on the Steelers. They would go on to sweep the season series, and now moving forward, the Ravens should now believe they can do to the Steelers what has been done to them the past 5 years.
Now when it is applied to Saints-Falcons, we see similar things. We see two supposedly relatively evenly-matched teams, but even in a year where the Saints are really down, and the Falcons are really up, the Saints still own the mental edge.
This has been the problem with this team throughout the Mike Smith Era. They lack the mental toughness to win the big games.
Last year, if that Falcon team was "for real" and was ready to make a run in the playoffs, then they would have showed it in that Week 16 game vs. NO. But they didn't, they got blown out, and it was just a precursor to what we saw vs. the Giants 2 weeks later.
This should have been the 35-7 beatdown that the Ravens put on the Steelers in Week 1 of last year.
And so all of you that think it's no big deal, are missing the point. If/when this team develops that "it" factor that we're all hoping for, we should see it against the Saints.
So call me crazy for making a mountain out of a molehill, but if in a few weeks on Thursday Night, the Falcons don't come out and put the smackdown on the Saints like the Ravens did the Steelers.
Without seeing that, why should I think this season is going to end any better than the past four? Because what people don't get is that this is a flawed football team. This is the most flawed 8-1 football team I can recall seeing. And to make up for those flaws, this team has to show it is mentally tough.
And if they cannot show it against the Saints, why would you think they would do it against the 49ers, Giants, Packers, Bears, etc. come January?
It's like a kid that gets bullied by the same kid every day in school, but then puffs his chest and says that he'll beat the ass of any other
bully that steps his way.