Week 5: Atlanta Falcons Prepare for a Must-Win Game

By Daniel Chi
NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

With their latest loss against the New England Patriots already in the history books, the Atlanta Falcons head into Week 5 in a must-win game if they want to have any chance of salvaging not only their chances to win the NFC South, but to claim a Wild Card spot for the playoffs.

The Falcons are once again slated to play in a prime time, as they will be playing Geno Smith and the New York Jets on Monday night.

While the Falcons’ main focus is winning their game against the Jets, they can’t help but continue to look back on that fourth-and-two play, where Matt Ryan missed a wide-open Roddy White in the flat that would have secured a first down and possibly changed the outcome of the game itself.

Though all the great quarterbacks possess a short-term memory, it seems like every time Ryan closes his eyes, all he can see is that inaccurate throw over and over again in his head. One thing is sure, however: Ryan can’t wait to get back out on the field with his teammates and play with a determination that we have not yet seen from the Dirty Birds.

At 1-3, the Falcons’ game against the Jets is a critical game. With the New Orleans Saints staying unbeaten and clearly the leaders in the NFC South, the Falcons will do everything they can to ensure that they come out with a victory.

While Smith and the Jets haven’t been necessarily a perfect team themselves, it seems that coach Rex Ryan has re-discovered the defensive mojo that his team has been lacking in the past two years. The Jets rank eighth in passing defense, allowing 203.8 passing yards per game, and rank fifth in rushing at 79.3 yards per game.

Another problem for the Falcons that the Jets impose is the dual-threat quarterback Smith, who has surprisingly given some life to a Jets offense that has been handcuffed by their previous quarterback in Mark Sanchez. Fortunately for the Falcons, who already owns one of the worst passing defenses in the league, the Jets’ top two wide receivers in Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill will be missing in action as they deal with injuries.

Although the Jets have a formidable defense once again, they will be going up against a desperate team that will be playing with a chip on its shoulder.

Despite all of the injuries the Falcons have endured so far, Ryan and his teammates will be looking to unleash their frustrations and anger, which is bad news for a Jets team trying to regain some respect within its own media circus back in New York. Make no mistake about it. The Falcons not afford another loss that would put them in a situation that not even a top-notch offense can save them from.

In four games, the Falcons have suffered some of the worst things that could have possibly happened to them, which gives them nowhere to go but up.

The Falcons’ time is now, and the Jets better be ready to receive some unpleasantries from a team that will be playing with some attitude. It’s time for the Falcons to either make a stand or be trampled. Whether they decide to man up will be up to them, but this game against the Jets will either propel them, or vanquish their season right before their very eyes.

Daniel Chi is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielChi24, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google 

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