The Atlanta Falcons have a good thing going. After a disastrous season opener they have had four wins and a road loss to a good team that came down to a no-call. It’s looking good. Now the toughest stretch of the schedule is over and we go home to take on the San Diego Chargers.
Everybody has Atlanta winning. The reasons should be obvious. The Chargers cannot hold a lead. Even in the Thursday Night Football game against Denver (who are a divisional rival anyway), a 21-3 fourth quarter lead would have vanished with just another minute on the clock. Some suggest that this team isn’t bad, but at some point, the fourth quarter collapses form a pattern. Actually, this Chargers team seems just like the 2014 Falcons and 2015 Giants teams, both of which went 6-10. Those teams could get a big lead in the third quarter but hadn’t the defense to hold onto it. Would have had great records otherwise. Sound familiar?
Other than Philip Rivers, who have the Chargers got? Receivers aren’t so good, run game is almost no good, and defense keeps giving up 30+ points. And if you want to bring up Atlanta’s defense, bear in mind that we held Seattle to 26, 10 of which were off turnovers. Well, cornerback Casey Hayward is said to be having a good year. But he will tested by Julio Jones, a wide receiver who has career days against the likes of Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman.
And that’s the thing with this game. As all our games so far have been against rivals and good teams, this our first bout in which victory should be a certainty. And that’s what makes me nervous. Because the game in which last year’s hot start began to fizzle out was also a near automatic win. A lousy Tampa Bay Buccaneers team came to our stadium a week after blowing a 24-point lead against the Redskins, but we turned the ball over four times to begin a six-game losing streak. So if we’re to screw the pooch again, now would seem to be the time.
Are the signs abound of history repeating itself? Not really. Heading into the beginning of that series of losses, we had turned the ball over an average of 2.7 times a game for three straight. Nothing like that is happening now. So there’s nothing to worry about. We’ll win this game, improve to 5-2, and finish the season with 10-12 wins.
I wish I could feel sure of that. RISE UP!!!