THE FALCONS PLAYOFF HOPES OVER
I know the loss to New Orleans hurts, especially knowing free safety Ricardo Allen got hurt and will miss the entire season thanks to a torn achilles, but that doesn’t mean the Falcons are out of the playoff hunt just yet.
Before Atlanta faces the Saints again, this time on Thanksgiving Day, they’ll have seven-straight games against Andy Dalton, Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, Baker Mayfield, and Dak Prescott. While most of those quarterbacks are dangerous in their own right, I wouldn’t say their offenses are as high-powered as the Saints. Even with some serious question marks in the Falcons defensive-backfield, they should be able to hold their own.
Yes, the Falcons just gave up over 500 offensive yards to their NFC South rival on Sunday afternoon, but I would argue New Orleans offense will prove to be the hardest for Atlanta to defend over the next seven weeks. With Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas, the Saints were able to exploit some favorable match-ups and come away victorious.
Again, outside of the Steelers and Buccaneers, I think the Falcons will adjust and give their offense enough opportunities to win.
ATLANTA’S DEFENSE WON’T STOP ANYONE
Dan Quinn made it clear on Monday afternoon that they will not look outside of the organization for any help at safety. Atlanta will instead start Damontae Kazee at free safety, while rotation guys like Kemal Ishmael, Jordan Richards, and Keith Tandy in an attempt to fill the void. While I, personally, don’t believe that will be enough to help the Falcons make it deep into the postseason, they could put together a defense stable enough to make it back to the NFC Playoffs.
Like I mentioned above, there are few offenses Falcons will face as tough as the Saints. If they can clean up their tackling, I think they’ll play well enough to stay in the hunt over the next 14 weeks.
ONCE AGAIN, NEW ORLEANS LOOKS LIKE THE NFC SOUTH’S BEST TEAM
Look, I will admit that New Orleans looks tough through three weeks. Their offense relies heavily on Alvin Kamara and Micheal Thomas, which has proven to be effective, but that’s a huge workload for two players alone. At some point, teams will start to scheme against that, ultimately stifling the Saints tough offensive attack. Plus, don’t forget the Bucs went into the SuperDome and beat New Orleans in Week One. Until Tampa Bay shows otherwise, they’re the team to beat in the NFC South.