The Atlanta Falcons are headed into their most important game so far this weekend against the New Orleans Saints.
The Atlanta Falcons are headed into their final game of the regular season with their division and a playoff spot clinched. They still have plenty to play for howeve, in what is one of the most important games of the season against the New Orleans Saints.
Sunday’s game will give the Falcons a chance to lock up the second seed in the NFC and if they lose they have a very good chance of having to play in the wildcard round. Not only will they have an extra game’s chance of being sent home in the playoffs, they will also lose their ability to host a 2nd round playoff game. While you may point to the Falcon’s home and away records this season to prove the Falcons play well on the road, come playoff time it all goes out the window. Having a home field advantage and the ability to rest a week before playing a playoff game is a huge advantage that cannot be overstated.
The New Orleans Saints will be a tough test for an Atlanta team that has won three straight games against teams that easily could have been underrated and allowed to stick around. Instead the Falcons ensured early leads and piled up points ensuring time for their backups and allowing fans to rest easy that no collapse is in store for the 2016 season.
Drew Brees and the high flying Saints offense is capable of keeping pace with this Atlanta attack and due to the fact they are playing for a .500 season and to ruin a division rival’s chances of locking up the two seed they will give Atlanta all they can handle. Matt Ryan is going to have to help this offense score early and often Sunday and hope that the Falcon’s defense keeps creating turnovers and playing the opportunistic D that they have been for the last few weeks.
While Atlanta’s pass rush was thought to be their weakness headed into this season they have instead turned it into their strength on defense. Vic Beasley leads the league in sacks and is the most explosive play-maker on defense. The Falcons are going to need Beasley to continue to be the dynamic pass rusher he has this season both this week and throughout the playoffs if they hope to advance past the first round.
This week should be a good indication of where the Falcons are as a team and if they can get a win when they need it most. The game will kick-off at 4:25 on FOX in America’s game of the week.