Originally written on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/20/14
When can a loss be better for a professional football team than a win? Most NFL players and coaches likely would say never. Unless, somewhere during the loss a new team star who was on the trading block is discovered.Which still translates to pretty much never.As I watched the Atlanta Falcons lose 22-17 at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the last regular season game, I tried to look at both the good and bad for Atlanta in it's third loss of the season.Going in, the Falcons had already earned everything they could as far as playoff placement and home-field advantage was concerned. So, I was curious about how head coach Mike Smith would handle his personnel in what many would consider a meaningless last game of the season.My thinking was that if the Falcons had come out red hot and built a big lead in the first half, most of the starters would have been sitting after the first possession of the third quarter. After the poor first half showing, pulling the first-string woul...
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