Atlanta Falcons: Next Six Games Will Decide Everything

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 20: Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 20: Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett /

The Atlanta Falcons (6-4) have shown life after notching a couple of wins in a row. It will be these final six games that will determine success or not.

Any road win in the NFL is as important as it is rare. It is also incredibly rare to go on the road to Seattle and get out of there with a win. The Atlanta Falcons did just that last Monday. That rare road win was indicative of what has been a mercurial and odd season for the Falcons. These final six games, however, will require consistent production and will be determinative as to whether this season is a success, or not.

Going back to the very first game, wins and losses for Atlanta have been, shall we say, unusual. The goal line stand at Chicago. The 10 second run off in Detroit. The home losses to Buffalo and Miami who are awful. In truth, none of it makes sense, really. There’s no logic or cogent explanation.

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There are observations, though. New Offensive and Defensive Coordinators have affected the team more than some expected. Production on both sides of the ball has dropped off from last year with, essentially, the same personnel. Julio Jones is only getting single digit targets per game. The right side of the Offensive Line plays like it is injured, although it is not. Desmond Trufant has struggled in coverage. Strange times, indeed.

Atlanta has looked better in the last two games, though, against Dallas and Seattle. They had the flavor and look of the same strong sauce they were serving up last year. That has some asking if the Falcons have “turned the corner” or “fixed things”.

Time will tell about that, and we won’t have to wait long. In what has been a very odd year, so far, the end of the season is crystal clear.

With 5 of their last 6 games against NFC South Division foes, and a 6th against NFC North leading Minnesota, Atlanta controls its course. New Orleans and Carolina are ahead of Atlanta in the standings, currently, and make up 3 of those 6 games. The Durty Birds can make up a season’s worth of baffling mistakes and missteps in those three games.

But this playoff rehab begins in earnest this Sunday against Tampa Bay. A win there gets the Birds to 7-4 and perched to fly straight into the playoff headwinds. It would also vault them into a position going into those N.O. and Carolina battles to actually win the division.

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After the early home losses, that could be the craziest thing to happen all year. Crazy, but beautiful.