It's well-documented that the Atlanta Falcons have yet to have back-to-back winning seasons in franchise history.
Seemingly random spurts of success (a Super Bowl run in 1998, a road playoff win in Green Bay) have come in the recent past — but have been spoiled by injuries, bad trades and just plain bad football (not to mention Bobby Petrino mid-season expatriation and the Michael Vick fiasco) in the following years.
Now the Falcons are coming off of an 11-5 season and a playoff appearance (a loss to eventual NFC champion Arizona) in 2008. They have their franchise quarterback, their head coach and their hotshot GM. They have their marquee running game, a brand new tight end, and an energy and positive attitude they've lacked for a long time.
The stage is set for another disappointment.
But this time, it won't happen.