Mentally Tough

We’ll see just how mentally tough this football team is down the stretch of these last six games. Mental toughness is one of those terms you hear a lot in football, but you don’t know exactly what it means. I’m not sure I have a great grasp of the term myself. But I personally define it as a team/players/coaches that play at their best when their backs are against the wall. They don’t make a lot of mental mistakes and play at a relatively consistent level each and every week.

If that is the proper definition, then it’s apparent the Falcons haven’t shown they are very mentally tough throughout Mora’s reign. Although I can’t totally blame Mora, since there was about 38 years of lack of mental toughness that preceded him.

The Falcons have not finished a season well since Vick joined the team. Coincidence? You be the judge. Okay, sure you’ll point out the 2003 season where Vick missed the first 11 games. But in my eyes, that season doesn’t count because essentially Vick was in September mode when he came in November. But if you get Vick after 10 or 12 games, usually the Falcons start to fold.

Even if you include the ’03 season, since Vick has been the starter, the Falcons have a total record of 9-12 after Thanksgiving. That record is 6-10 if you discount the ’03 season.

I’m hoping the team’s recent struggles will spark a change. Vick and Mora can silence a lot of critics (like myself) with a relatively strong finish. That means the Falcons have to win more games than they lose. A 4-2 finish could be enough to get the Falcosn into the playoffs considering the parity of the rest of the NFC. If this team is mentally tough, then I think a 4-2 finish is likely. If not, then well, you can guess the alternative.

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Aaron Freeman
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