After another ugly loss to the Houston Texans, the Atlanta Falcons drop to 1-4 on the season. Now, likely out of the playoff race, the high expectations the team and fans had at the start of the season needs to be readjusted in a big way.
Before the start of the season, the Atlanta Falcons were thought, by some, to be a contender for a playoff spot or the NFC South title. After the slow start last season, the Falcons closed the season with a three-game winning streak. That momentum from last season has not transferred over to this season. Similarly to last season, the Falcons have started the season 1-4.
After two losses in ugly fashion, Tennessee at home and Houston on the road, the expectations of making the playoffs are all gone. With how bad this team has looked, it’s more likely that Falcons will be picking in the top-ten of next year’s draft than turning this season around to make the playoffs. That’s how bad it’s been here in Atlanta for the Falcons.
The Falcons have a winnable game up next on the schedule, with the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals, led by a rookie quarterback and head coach, are one of the worst teams in the NFL, slightly worse than the Falcons so far. With that said, the Cardinals got their first win of the season on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals so this young team is riding a high coming into this game with the Falcons. Also, this game will be in Arizona, a road game for the Falcons who are 0-3 on the road this season. The Falcons may get beat in this game.
Following their game in Arizona, the Falcons will return home for two more NFC West opponents, Seattle and Los Angeles. Even with those games being at home, the Rams and Seahawks are two of the best teams in the NFC. It’s extremely unlikely the Falcons will win either of those games. If we are being optimistic, the Falcons will go into their bye week with a record of 2-6.
After the bye week, the divisional play starts for the Falcons. Of the remaining eight games, six of those games will be NFC South teams. The other two are San Francisco, a very good team, and Jacksonville, a very better team. Considering the Falcons can steal a game from Carolina or Tampa Bay, the Falcons may top out at 4-6 wins this season. That win total is a far cry from what we all expected before the season.
This is a pretty pessimistic view of the rest of the Falcons season, but I also think it’s more likely to happen than this Falcons team turning the season around. At the start of the season, expectations didn’t feel high, but clearly, they were set too high for this version of the Falcons. This Falcons roster remains talented, maybe not as talented as we all once believed, but talent doesn’t always equate success. I expect wholesale changes after this season, but for now, I expect this team to continue to disappoint and underperform.