The bye week has come and the Atlanta Falcons are in better shape than hardly anyone expected. We had a brutal schedule. We had a quarterback who hadn’t fit into our new West Coast scheme last year.
Now we’re 6-4 with no particularly scary opponents left until the playoffs except Kansas City. We can definitely make the playoffs. Only the god of football knows what would happen after that.
Just one thing, though. The loss in Philadelphia was embarrassing. The offensive line was manhandled, our run defense was gashed in spite of being good at holding the opposition to field goals, Matt Ryan was forcing the ball to Julio Jones under pressure, Matt Bryant missed an extra point, and Julio Jones was struggling to get open and even catch the ball.
I’ve heard the argument that since the players have had such a hard schedule, they’re tired. It’s possible, although you wouldn’t have been able to tell from the game at Tampa Bay. Others say that another fast start is ending.
It must be noted that Sunday was so remarkable that it is likely just a bad game. Does anyone really believe that we’re going to have Bryant missing extra points and Julio dropping passes all the time? That gives one reason to believe that the nine games before the Eagles are a better indicator of the season.
However, I don’t like the slim chance that this team really has been exposed. This year’s incredible offense should not be squandered.
Having said that, I think we’re still likely to win the division. A sweep of either the Panthers or Saints seems likely because neither are playing great football. We also probably win over and 49ers and either the Rams or Cardinals (like the Panthers, these are not last year’s Cards). 9-7 across the board and 4-2 in division more than likely wins the NFC South.
But you want to do more than make the playoffs. Our rookies at linebacker and strong safety are improving, but a potential new vulnerability at our offensive line may been found. I certainly hope not. RISE UP!!!