This is the year many analysts had the Atlanta Falcons competing, with many saying they would end up in the Super Bowl. At this point, the Falcons would be content with finding their next win.
At 1-2, the Falcons have stumbled out of the gate and face a huge test on Sunday night against the New England Patriots. As a result, this matchup takes on more importance for the Falcons as they struggle to turn things around.
If Atlanta wants to be taken seriously, they must first take care of business at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots. New England has looked shaky on offense, but are ultimately getting things done as their 3-0 record shows. With a loss to the Patriots, the Falcons could find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to their division.
The New Orleans Saints currently sit atop the NFC South and show no signs of budging any time soon. That could be a serious problem for Matt Ryan and the Falcons, or it could signal the start of a revival. Let’s say the Falcons go on to beat the Patriots, Atlanta would then host the New York Jets before coming out of their bye week to face a winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that’s struggling to score points.
A favorable schedule could be the cure-all for the Falcons, but first they must get past the Patriots. Then and only then can we talk about the Falcons being a contender come playoff time. As of right now, the Falcons aren’t scaring anybody. Atlanta was outworked by the surging Miami Dolphins, and looked suspect in squeaking out a 31-24 victory against the St.Louis Rams.
The Falcons hardly look like they’re ready for the postseason with their play thus far, but a win in Sunday will go a long way towards getting things back on track.