The Atlanta Falcons (8-5) play Tampa Bay Monday night. At this point a win is needed just to keep pace with other NFC South rivals.
Any time the Atlanta Falcons go on the road to Tampa Bay it is a significant game. It’s a place where the Falcons have struggled before, even when they clearly had the superior team. With just three games left, they can’t afford a let down. In fact, a win is a must just to keep pace.
There are such things as painful truths. These things become so clear that one has to squint and mush face to try and pretend not to see or acknowledge it. Like an ugly baby. Somebody who smells. Or a couple where one person is really attractive and the other is not. Or a bad kiss. Being invited to dinner and the food is awful. You try to avoid the obvious, but you can’t.
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The painful truth for our beloved Atlanta Falcons is that, with New Orleans and Carolina already at 10 wins, they have to win out to see the field in the post-season. It is highly suspect that Atlanta would be able to sustain a loss in these last three games, finish at 9-7, and still make the playoffs.
Is it mathematically possible? Sure. But so is winning the lottery. Good luck with that.
The horrendous home losses to Buffalo and Miami are still sticking with the Durty Birds like three day old deviled eggs. It’s gross and makes you want to go the other direction.
If Atlanta can get to 11-5, it would be a remarkable accomplishment considering how unstable they’ve looked at times this year.
That needed stability might be found Monday in Tampa. The Bucs are not a good football team, and the Falcons should go down there and handle business.
As some might say, tonight is a good night for Atlanta to go get right.
Expect Atlanta to win tonight. But also look to see how they do it. If Matt Ryan and company look like they’ve shaken the rust, as it were, and found some legs, it could be a fortuitous sign for the final two very tough games.
If they eek out a win, it could be a lingering harbinger of what is to come in the next two weeks.
That said, a win against Tampa Bay is always nice. Sweeping them never gets old. And that is not a painful truth at all.