Falcons have completely underperformed expectations in recent years

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It isn’t breaking news when I tell you the Falcons have ultimately underperformed expectations since making it to the Super Bowl. After reaching the big game more than five years ago, Atlanta’s front office continued pushing all their chips in until the entire staff was fired.

Thomas Dimitroff and company restructured contracts at an alarmingly irresponsible rate and handed out ludicrously large contract extensions that inevitably caught up with them. Reaching the Super Bowl in 2016 gave the Falcons a taste of glory, and the response was anything but conducive to getting back.

Now, the Falcons’ new regime has to un-do all the salary cap mismanagement of the previous regime. Those decisions from the Quinn and Dimitroff era only made it more difficult for the Fontenot and Smith regime to build a sustainable winning culture, but they can’t un-do the overwhelming shortcomings of the past Falcons teams.

In fact, there aren’t many teams in the NFL that have underperformed more than the Falcons in the past five years.

Based on the oddsmakers’ lines, there have been only two teams to underperform expectations more than the Falcons — the Broncos and Giants. In 2017, the Falcons won 0.5 games more than expected, but they won 2.5 games less than expected in 2018, 1.5 games less than expected in 2019, and worst of all 3.5 games less than expected in 2020.

It is fair for Falcons fans to feel let down because, by these projection models, the team has underperformed. Even this past season, with a new regime in charge, the Falcons underperformed by 0.5 games. Atlanta has long been the butt end of jokes in the NFL, but they certainly aren’t ill-placed.

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