Looking at Atlanta Falcons post-bye schedule


Oct 14, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) scrambles with the ball against the Oakland Raiders during the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Raiders 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

The Falcons were undefeated coming into week 6 and took the best shot possible from an Oakland Raiders team desperate for a win. Even though Oakland delivered their best punch, it wasn’t enough to give them a win, and the Falcons remained undefeated. Well, the Falcons will enter week 8 undefeated, and will have the target on their back all season until they are handed their first loss. And Oakland isn’t the last team who is win-deprived that the Falcons will face.

As a matter of fact, week 8 will start a 4-week stretch for the Falcons when they face teams with tremendous talent but haven’t been extremely successful in the win-loss column.

In week 8, the Falcons face the 3-3 Philadelphia Eagles, a team fighting for their playoff lives, and a head coach fighting for his job. They haven’t been ultra successful, but they have out of this world talent on both sides of the ball. And the Falcons will doubtless get their best shot as both teams come off the bye.

But that’s not the only team. The following week the Falcons will play host to the under-performing Dallas Cowboys whose main problem is inconsistency. Again, boat load of talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Even if the Falcons aren’t undefeated, the Cowboys will be fighting for their lives, and they will doubtless give the Falcons their best shot.

Week 10 will bring the most emotional challenge yet as the Falcons travel to take on the hated New Orleans Saints. The Saints have been really bad through the first six weeks of the season, but their offense is as dynamic as ever, and they will certainly get as ready as possible to play Atlanta.

And in week 11 the Falcons will host the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona is a team that is trying to stay alive in the NFC West. There is no telling what their record will look like when this part of the season comes up, but they will probably be in the thick of the playoff race. Arizona will bring their tremendous defense into the Georgia Dome and try to disrupt what the Falcons are trying to do.

The Falcons are very lucky to be 6-0 going up to the bye, but that is exactly what they needed as they will enter the most challenging part of their season after the bye. These four games aren’t the only important games– they still have two matchups with the Buccaneers, one with the Saints and Panthers, a game with the New York Giants, and a road game in Detroit. Each and every one of those games presents a huge challenge for Atlanta going forward.

But if the Falcons have made one thing clear its that they will take things one week at a time, and not let past performances affect them going forward. That tough mindset is going to be even more crucial as they enter this most challenging segment of the season.