The Falcons haven’t had a record over .500 since the 2017 season, despite having several opportunities. Atlanta once again lost in such a situation after being dominated for much of the afternoon by the Bengals. Cincinnati’s vaunted passing attack looked flawless against a battered Atlanta secondary. Joe Burrow threw for nearly 500 yards and three touchdowns on over 80% passing while the Falcons trotted out Cornell Armstrong, a practice squad player, in place of an injured AJ Terrell.
However, the Falcons still sit atop the NFC South, which has quickly become one of the worst divisions in all of football, with the Buccaneers struggling mightily. Atlanta can still sneak into the playoffs via the Wild Card, but Tampa Bay has done little to wrap this division up. The Falcons have everything in front of them, despite boasting a severely talent-deficient roster. Over the next handful of weeks, Atlanta has a real shot at getting over the .500 hump for the first time in years.
Falcons schedule looking VERY favorable, could easily get over .500 for the first time in what seems like forever
— SportsTalkATL Alex (@GeauxSportsTalk) October 24, 2022
The only matchups remaining that have the potential for the kind of beatdown we saw the Bengals put on this past weekend are the Chargers and Ravens. Despite severely underperforming this season, LA and Justin Herbert have a similar recipe to hand the Falcons an ass whooping as Cincy did with their passing attack. The Ravens are talented and will provide an extremely challenging task for the Falcons as well.
However, that’s where the tough matchups end. Regardless of Carolina’s win over Tampa Bay, the Panthers should be a very beatable opponent for the Falcons, who will see their division rivals twice over the next three weeks. Then, they’ll get two dumpster fires in Chicago and Washington — both winnable games. The Steelers are a frisky team, but once again, they are beatable for Atlanta.
The Falcons could very easily be 8-5 going into their Week 14 bye, with their final four contests coming against some shaky teams as well. The Bucs don’t look like a playoff-caliber team, while the Cardinals and Saints look lost. A lot can change in that time, especially with injuries. But the Falcons should hopefully be welcoming back Casey Hayward and Cordarrelle Patterson before that stretch run. Atlanta still controls its destiny, given their incredibly favorable schedule and a weak division.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire