The good news for the Atlanta Falcons is that we just beat one of the best teams in all football! In their own stadium!
The bad news? Who said about anything about bad news? Our offense wasn’t up to it’s usual standards, but who cares? We were up against the Denver Broncos. As the announcers pointed out, their defense is some almost unworldly force that makes all direct opponents look bad. Put into perspective, Matt Ryan did much better against them than Tom Brady in the AFC Championship. Yes, much!
After rebounding from a seemingly fatal home opener loss, we were told to temper our excitement. Oakland’s defense sucks, the Saints are horrible, and the Panthers just aren’t the team that went to the Super Bowl anymore. The talking heads on ESPN and elsewhere called Denver the real test. Again, this is a really good team. It’s a undefeated team that has allowed only one game to even be close. That is, until now.
The verdict appears to be in.
Not that it was easy. The pundits predicted that against the second-to-none Denver, our strong offense would come back to Earth. In that, at least, they were right. Another very good quarterback was made to look like a backup. But 23 points is still the most scored on them in almost ten games (I’m counting playoffs but not the regular season here).
But our defense? Now this is more like it! After three games of still being incapable of pressuring quarterbacks to save our lives, we dogged Cam Newton all game last week. Looks like that may not have been a fluke. Denver quarterback Paxton Lynch couldn’t have had a good time, as an ordinarily competent bunch of big boys up front let us sack him six times! As a result, Denver got well under 300 yards of offense. Those who held out hope for Vic Beasley are at least temporarily vindicated by his 3.5 sacks for the day.
After the few remaining games for the week are played, our official offensive and defensive rankings will be interesting, that’s for sure!
One last thing. Some might try to degrade this victory because Denver didn’t have Trevor Siemian. But this is unfair for three reasons. One, nobody talked this way about Lynch when Denver blew out Tampa Bay last week. Two, all quarterbacks from Brady down to Tim Tebow suck under pressure. Third, De’Vondre Campbell and Deion Jones are out, so they should have gotten a decent run game going to compensate. They didn’t.
Tomorrow’s Monday Night Football between the Panthers and Buccaneers is just for who gets to be merely two games down. Us? I conclude with a victory song!