Just a week removed from their bug upset against the San Francisco 49ers, the Atlanta Falcons will return home to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Falcons will be looking to shake their AFC woes, going 0-3 against AFC opposition so far this season.
The Atlanta Falcons did the unthinkable last week when they went on the road to beat the mighty San Francisco 49ers. It was a hard-fought game won by a team that has clearly not given up on a lost season. Now, looking to follow up that great play with another great game this week, the Falcons have the not as mighty Jacksonville Jaguars coming to Atlanta for the final home game of the season.
Coming into Atlanta, the Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off the heights of winning against a west coast team. After losing five games in a row, the Jags managed to spoil the final game in Oakland, beating the Raiders with a late comeback. Now, at 5-9 with the season lost, the Jags are looking to build some momentum for next season.
The Falcons have struggled historically against AFC opponents throughout the Dan Quinn era. This season has been no different. With most of the games coming early in the season, the Falcons are 0-3 against the AFC South this season. Other than the Colts game, which got close late, the Falcons have been blown out this season when facing an AFC team. The Falcons will have to win to avoid going 0-4 against the AFC.
Despite being on the brink of winning the AFC and playing in the Super Bowl, the Jags are a different team. Blake Bortles, Jalen Ramsey, and now, Tom Coughlin are all gone from the Jags, with Coughlin being fired this week. The Jags are now led by Gardner Minshew, the rookie QB who played so well Nick Foles was benched.
It’s not just the offense that has changed for the Jags, it’s the defense, too. The Jags once had the most fearsome defense in the league. Now, they rank near the bottom of the NFL in total yards allowed, rushing, and points allowed. However, even with the down year, the Jags are having, the defensive line can still provide trouble for opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks. Calais Campbell, Josh Allen, and Yannick Ngakoue are going to be a handful for the Falcons on Sunday.
It’s going to be very interesting if the Falcons can manage to win this game on Sunday, to think about where Dan Quinn will be following this game. If the Falcons win, the back-to-back 7-9 seasons will stay alive, further emphasizing the mediocrity the Falcons have personified. With every win, the safer Dan Quinn’s job feels. If the Falcons can play like they did last week, the team should have no problem beating the lowly Jags at home. Can Dan Quinn sleep a little more comfortable after a win on Sunday? Only time will tell.