The Instigator
Kyle_Fitta
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

The Atlanta Falcons Won't Win A Playoff Game This Year

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2012 Category: Sports
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,439 times Debate No: 28075
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

Kyle_Fitta

Pro

The Atlanta Falcons have the best record in the NFC and are tied with the best record in the NFL. That typically means the team will at the very least wind up winning at least one playoff game. However, I believe the Falcons will be one and done.
socialpinko

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Kyle_Fitta

Pro

The Falcons actually have had successful seasons during the Matt Ryan and Mike Smith era. However, their success comes to a stop once they get into the playoffs. In 2008, after going 11-5, they faced the Cardinals 30-24. The critics believed they could build off this loss to become better in 2009, but they ended up finishing the season 9-7 and missed the playoffs. The following year they got back on track by going 13-3 and was the number one seed in the NFC. What happened? They lost to the Green Bay "Road Warriors" Packers 48-21, the worst loss by a top seed ever. And then in 2011, they went 11-5, but their fate ended up in the same way. They didn't only lose; they just manhandled by the Giants 27-2.

Even prior to the embarrassing loss versus Carolina Panthers, the Falcons felt like they were frauds. They are 11-2, but they haven't faced a great team yet except the Denver Broncos. And it's difficult saying they beat the Broncos that we are seeing now because they weren't fully gelled, as Peyton Manning and the Broncos were attempting to develop chemistry together. Moreover, Manning quickly threw three int's that game because it appeared he was trying to make throws that he could before his neck injury. Despite all that, the Broncos almost came back and won that game, falling short 27-21. Besides the Broncos, the only other over .500 team they have beaten this year was the Redskins. They won that game by seven points and it was a game that RGIII got injured early in the 3rd quarter. That has been a theme of the Falcons: fluky wins. They beat the Panthers in week 4 because the Cam Newton fumbled after he got the first down that would have iced the game and then the Panthers deep safety bit on play-action even though there was little time left and the Falcons needed to score from their one. They beat the depleted Cardinals by four points despite Cardinals Quarterback averaging 3.2 yards per play. And they only beat the Saints by 10 despite Drew Brees throwing 5 INT's.

Here is the most compelling statistic about the Falcons: According to ESPN, their strength of schedule is .391 and their strength of victory is .399. It's the lowest strength of schedule in the NFL and it's the 10th lowest strength of victory. Besides the Broncos in week two, the best offensive team they face is the Cardinals, who are ranked 18th is giving up points, and a team who hasn't won a game since week four. The best offense/Quarterback they have faced was the Saints who aren't even above .500, have the second to last defense in the league, and yet the Saints still beat the Falcons.

The Falcons are 11-2, but it is mostly because of their weak schedule. They have gotten lucky in a few of those games, but the luck going to quickly rub off down the stretch because they are going to face teams that average a lot better than a .391 winning percentage.
socialpinko

Con

This debate is over whether or not the Atlanta Falcons will win at least one playoff game, not whether they're the best team in the league and not whether or not their schedule correctly reflects their skill as a team. Pro's arguments seem to deal mostly with these last two, only barely referring to the actual playoffs. In order to actually figure out if the Falcons will win a game or not, I think it would be best to actually compare the Falcons and the teams they're likely to go up against first.


Now, as the highest seeded team in the NFC, the Falcons will be facing the lowest-winning Wild Card seed first[1]. That means the Falcons will play the Bears, Seahawks, Packers, or Giants. Let's see how the Falcons stack up with these teams.


The Bears are 1-4 in their last five games and the Falcons have them beat in overall points, yards, and pass yards per game[2][3]. The same goes for the Seahawks[2][4] and the Packers[2][5]. The Falcons are just few spots lower than the Giants in overall points per game but against have them beat in overall yards and pass yards[2][6]. The Falcons have certainly benefited from a not-too-hard schedule. However, that doesn't change the fact that the Falcons are fourth in the league in pass yards and eighth in overall yards and points per game.


There's also the fact that the Falcons have gone 4-1 in their last five games, giving them an air of confidence as they go into the playoffs. Meanwhile the Bears have gone 1-4 with the Giants 2-3. The Seahawks and Packers have also gone 4-1 each. However, given that the Falcons will face the *lowest*-ranked seed, it's safe to assume they'll go up against one of the lower two. The Falcons aren't just limping into the playoffs. They're coming off of an 11-2 regular season record.


5 minutes to spare.


===Sources===


[1] http://www.fbschedules.com...
[2] http://www.nfl.com...
[3] http://www.nfl.com...
[4] http://www.nfl.com...
[5] http://www.nfl.com...
[6] http://www.nfl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Kyle_Fitta

Pro

Needless to say, but the Bears are struggling right now. Their offensive line cannot block anyone, their an injury prone team, and they lost Bryan Urlacher - which is equal to losing a Quarterback; therefore, it's unlikely they will go passed the Wildcard, that is if they even make it. The Seahawks are undefeated at home; however, they struggle on the road. They are just 2-5 on it (ESPN), and will have to play on it during the post-season. That means the Giants or perhaps Packers are the likely choices to face them, depending on which seed Falcons end up with. Plus, I'm wondering if my opponent follows football. He points out the Giants are 2-3 in their last five, while the Falcons are 5-1. Anyone who can use the eyeball test realizes how much more of a better playoff team the Giants are than the Falcons. As a matter of fact, they can just look back a year ago when the Falcons played them in the playoffs and despite having a better record they lost.

Also, my opponent points out that the Falcons are far from limping in the playoffs. Well, that has actually been one of their many problems. They peak at the wrong time, and it seems when come playoff time, they lose their steam. There is by no means air of confidence in Atlanta now. They were smoked by Carolina Panthers, a team who only had 3 wins before, 30-20; and, critics are consistency saying they cannot win a playoff game. As a matter of fact, peaking at the right time and barely making the playoff has actually been a recent trend of success. The 2 out 2 past Superbowl winners barely made it into the playoff.

In the playoffs, they have not only lost to teams with worse records than them, but they also haven't even kept one of the games. Their closest game in the past two years in the playoffs was by 25 points. They are similar to their team in 2010, where they went 14-2 and lost to the 10-6 Packers by 27 points except they actually beat some quality teams that year except their strength was schedule is .484.

" The Falcons have certainly benefited from a not-too-hard schedule. However, that doesn't change the fact that the Falcons are fourth in the league in pass yards and eighth in overall yards and points per game."

I'm sorry, but I laughed about that statement. Of course it matters! It would be like saying I fought 8 scrubs in the UFC; therefore, I should fight Anderson Silva. It's easier to point up points and yards when you face teams that average less than 4 wins. That's just, well, common sense. And out of every team in the playoffs, the closest to the weakest schedule in the NFC are the 49ers are .485, and even that is a .95 difference. (ESPN Standings). In addition, everyone knows that running the ball successfully in the playoffs is crucial. It makes the play-calling less one-dimensional. The Falcons are 32nd and rushing, and on the other side of the ball, they are giving up the 9th most rushing yards (ESPN Falcons Page).

This has been a past trend in recent seasons for the Falcons. They peak early, do enough to get one of top seeds, and then breakdown in the playoffs. History has a better chance of repeating itself than not, and I don't foresee why it won't. The Falcons' success is misinformed by their weak schedule. Compared to their three other seasons, this is significantly. (ESPN). So, that means they are 0-3 in the playoffs with harder schedules before. It will take a lot of lucky breaks for the Falcons to beat, say, the Giants or the Packers, especially when the Giants and Packers are great at getting to the Quarterback and Matt Ryan has already been sacked 29 times this year.

It's not sour grapes. It's just pure facts. The Falcons are an one-dimensional offense, vulnerable against the run, having a proven track record of blowing it in the playoffs, their QB's rating is a 71.2 in the playoffs ( which would be almost dead to last if it was in the regular season this year) (pro football), they've faced the easiest teams in the league thus far, and they are most likely going to face Packers or Giants, two teams that have a track record of getting it done in the playoffs.

Sources:

http://espn.go.com...

http://espn.go.com...

http://www.pro-football-reference.com...
socialpinko

Con

In response to Pro wondering if I follow football, no I don't. I took this debate simply for the fun of it.


(1) Pro's first counter draws on the Falcon's loss to the Giants last year. This doesn't prove as much as Pro thinks though since there are various differing factors this year. I think this is also important to bring up considering that Pro draws more on the Falcon's record *in the past* as evidence of how they'll play this year. There have been plenty of come backs and shifts from year to year, something the NFL is actually pretty good at facilitating as it seems.


(2) The opinions of critics qua opinions doesn't mean much. Critics are obviously not infallible and Pro's point here amount to little more than an argument from authority.


(3) As far as peaking is concerned, Pro is mis-applying it to the resolution. The Falcons are in danger of peaking perhaps. However, the Con isn't arguing that the Falcons will be winning games three and four games into the playoffs. I only need to refute Pro's case that the Falcons *will* not win a single game. I don't need to prove that the Falcons will get to the Superbowl or the NFC championship.


(4) Pro's analogy is also flawed ("It would be like saying I fought 8 scrubs in the UFC; therefore, I should fight Anderson Silva"). The possible teams that the Falcons will be going up against aren't the best teams in the league (they're certainly no Silva). My point was to show that the Falcons are a good team, regardless of the fact that they're record is inflated from the easy teams they played. Pro's big mistake in this debate is to assume that the Falcons can't be a good team *just* because they play against easy teams. Inflation of their record does not necessarily equate to their record being completely fabricated as Pro is repeatedly asserting.


===Conclusion===


Pro got way too off-topic as far as the resolution is concerned. The resolution was very specific. It had to do with whether or not the Falcons will win a single playoff game this season. Pro's arguments were too general for this though. From arguing that the Falcons' record is inflated to arguing that the Falcons won't make it "far" in the playoff (in regards to his peaking point), Pro focused more on showing that the Falcons weren't a "great" team as opposed to focusing on ho they stacked up compared to their possible opponents. On the on-topic points though Pro was also off. From extrapolating from incomplete historical analogies to over-estimating the opposition. Pro failed to show that the Falcons won't win a playoff game this post-season.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Kyle_Fitta 4 years ago
Kyle_Fitta
Compared to their three other seasons, this is significantly easier than their past schedules. Sorry, that part got cut out for some reason.
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
I generally don't and am almost entirely ignorant on the subject. Thought I'd try new things though.
Posted by BlackVoid 4 years ago
BlackVoid
They'll have home field advantage. And considering all the people saying they can't win the big one, you can bet they'll be motivated. They're not an elite team imo but they can win one postseason game or two.

I didn't know Spinko did sports.
Posted by callmesuperboo 4 years ago
callmesuperboo
Hard to argue this, to be honest with you. The Falcons are gonna do what they do all the freaking time: have a good season, get into the playoffs, and get CRUSHED as soon as they get there.
Posted by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
Between finishing the debate and voting time, there's not enough time to get this done before the first playoff game.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by drafterman 4 years ago
drafterman
Kyle_FittasocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments comparing the relative standings of the teams the Falcons were likely to go up against were not effectively contested and were the most compelling.
Vote Placed by The_Master_Riddler 4 years ago
The_Master_Riddler
Kyle_FittasocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: off topic
Vote Placed by Azul145 4 years ago
Azul145
Kyle_FittasocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro went way off topic and con pointed out good arguments. Also pro said in the first round that because the falcons win a lot of games they won't do well. This doesn't make any sense what so ever.