For the second straight season, the Falcons have started 0-2. Through those two games, Atlanta has given up a record number of points — 80. What’s even more frustrating is the previous two-game scoring record was set last year under Dan Quinn. It must be stated that Matt Ryan threw two pick-sixes in Week 2 against the Buccaneers, so it isn’t all on the defense.
Still, there hasn’t been much for Falcons fans to root for this season. The season opener against the Eagles was abysmal; plenty of negatives and few positives came from that matchup — Cordarrelle Patterson‘s emergence being one of them. Then, the Falcons headed south to face a divisional rival and the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers.
There was improvement across the board from Week 1 to Week 2, but the Falcons still fell short… by quite a bit. The box score doesn’t tell the entire story, but the Falcons were actually down three points with all the momentum on their side. Then, mistakes were compiled, and the Bucs took advantage, separating themselves from Atlanta.
The team’s improvement as a whole must be noted because if you get better each week, by the end of the season, the Falcons will have something to hang their hats on. The next three weeks will reveal what kind of team the Falcons will be in 2021.
In Week 3, Atlanta travels to MetLife Stadium to battle the winless Giants. Then they come back home and host the Washington Football Team in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. In Week 5, the Falcons travel across the pond to take on the — at this point — winless Jets in London. Nobody is confusing those three teams with Super Bowl contenders.
Depending on how the Falcons come out of this three-week stretch, the rest of the season could have a very different feel to it. If the Falcons win all three, the team will be above .500, and the entire mood of the fan base will change. Conversations will go from prospects the Falcons should take in April’s draft to overly optimistic takes on potentially winning the Super Bowl. The team will have a newfound confidence and will be eager to build on it.
However, if the Falcons lose all three games, they’ll be 0-5 for the second-straight season — a start that led to Dan Quinn’s dismissal. At that point, fan interest will be at an all-time low, and every media outlet covering the team will likely shift its focus to the 2022 draft class. The staff will begin to play the younger players — Richie Grant, Jaylinn Hawkins, Ta’Quon Graham, Ade Ogundeji, etc. — to further evaluate them. Overall, the morale will be low for the organization.
The Falcons will likely win one or two of these three upcoming games, keeping the fanbase optimistic but still disgruntled. These are three winnable games that Arthur Smith has to take advantage of if he wants to compete like he and Terry Fontenot have been preaching about all offseason.