Jake wrote over the holiday break on how the Falcons had a real chance of being in the top 5 when it comes to draft position if they lost to the Raiders over the weekend. However, that’s no longer the case after Raheem Morris’ group put together their best performance of the year, clobbering a normally tough Las Vegas squad 43-6. Unfortunately, it only gives the Falcons their fourth win through twelve weeks of this quirky season, leaving fans wondering once again what could have been had they finished off the games versus the Cowboys, Bears, and Lions.
With so many teams bunched up from picks 3-15, Atlanta’s win over the Raiders moved them outside of the top 10. Coming into Sunday, they were scheduled to pick seventh with a chance to move all the way up to third if things fell into place. But with a win and losses by Detroit, Denver, and Carolina, the Falcons would pick 11th if the draft were today. They could move to 10 if the Eagles beat the Seahawks tonight, which may have seemed like a long shot four weeks ago but looks much more plausible now given Seattle’s recent form.
I’m never going to be the guy to encourage tanking. We’ve seen plenty of teams embrace that strategy in the NFL over the years, and it rarely works. Winning is incredibly difficult, and learning how to earn those victories is far more valuable than moving up a couple of spots in the draft order. Nothing is gained from Atlanta looking like they did against New Orleans. Plus, with the Falcons remaining schedule being so difficult, these games are an ideal measuring stick to see just how far away this team is from being competitive under a competent coaching staff. Hopefully, Atlanta can find some consistency over these last five weeks, and if they do, Raheem Morris might have a real shot at keeping his job.