VIDEO: 3-28 story time, what it means for next season

Rashad Milligan

The saddest moment of my life.

Before I became a full-time professional journalist who covered the team, I was once a student who grew up an Atlanta sports fan. I have since detached a great amount emotionally for the sake of doing my job to the best of my ability.

On the day of Super Bowl LI, I finished my work at the student newspaper just in time to catch kickoff in my dorm. I turned down all viewing party invitations because I understood how passionate I got about my favorite teams.

I stood up the entire game, and watch the lead grow to two touchdowns before New England converted a field goal. My mood was pretty even-keel until Robert Alford pick-sixed Tom Brady and threw up Usher's "peace up, A-Town down" sign in the end zone. That moment had me going berserk.

New England made its expected run to make the game competitive again before forcing overtime in the final minute of regulation. James White gets to the outside on second and goal, he gets a couple of extra steps after initial contact on the tackle attempt, his knee hits the ground and the ball crosses the plane.

Controversial and questionable ending but it never should have gotten that close.

I grabbed my clothes out of the dryer and brought them back to my room while sitting lifeless on my twin bed. My colleague Christian Crittenden called me to be a guest on his podcast where I said different variations of 'I can't believe it' for 20 minutes.

There is a bit of optimism for Falcons fans, though.

The 2016 team was often compared to the 2012 team that fell short in the NFC Championship game after blowing a lead to Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers. It was often highlighted how many members of the 2016 bunch weren't on the 2012 team. Fast forward to 2020, and the scenario is very similar.

Dwight Freeney, Tevin Coleman, Austin Hooper, Devonta Freeman, De'Vondre Campbell, Desmond Trufant and Taylor Gabriel are some of the key players who have are no longer Falcons.

Atlanta enters the draft with a talented skill-positioned offense, and a questionable offensive line and defense. Depending on how the rest of the offseason is orchestrated, this election year could finally be the chance for the Falcons to redeem 28-3.

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