Blowing a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl wasn’t the reason the Falcons struggled last season.
That had more to do with a rash of injuries, which hit their defense particularly hard early in the year.
Quarterback Matt Ryan has never dwelled on the horrific nature of their loss to the Patriots, however, and he’s only thinking positive thoughts as the Falcons try to push forward with a healthy defense again.
“The group of guys that we have, we have a locker room of competitive, hardworking, unselfish people, and I think it’s the people in our building that give us a great chance to get back and obviously hopefully win a Super Bowl,” Ryan said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “We’ve got a great coaching staff. We’ve got a combination of guys that are going to try and put the players that we have in the best position to be successful.”
Of course, they also play in a division which makes getting back there more complicated, as the Saints will seemingly be contenders as long as Drew Brees‘ arm is attached, and the Panthers should improve now that Cam Newton‘s is back on. The Bucs could even see a bump with Bruce Arians coming aboard.
But a return to health, the comeback of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, and a refreshed offensive line has Ryan feeling good.
“At the end of the day, it’s about us, though,” Ryan said. “We respect those guys and appreciate what they do, but our focus is on how good can we play and how good of a team can we become because we have all the pieces we need to be successful.”
And he thinks they have enough.