Atlanta Falcons: Breaking down the Falcons’ final five games
For the Atlanta Falcons to make the playoffs, they will need a strong finish. Here’s a breakdown of the Falcons’ final five games.
December football has arrived, and it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. The first three months of the season are about setting yourself up for a playoff push in December. As hard as it may be to believe, the Atlanta Falcons have achieved this.
Any time you start the season 5-0, you will likely at least be in the hunt by this stage of the season. Because the Falcons started so fast, the recent drought of wins might not matter. But only if they can step up their game in the final five games. Here’s a look at the final five games.
Week 13: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Atlanta lost the reverse game five weeks ago, which kicked off the current four-game losing streak. This would be a fitting way to end the winless run and kick start a December push.
The Buccaneers have been inconsistent and are definitely beatable. You have to respect how they have turned things around this season with rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, but they are far from the finished article. Road games are always tough, particularly inside the division. But this is a must-win for Atlanta.
Week 14: at Carolina Panthers
This is a daunting task. The Carolina Panthers are yet to lose a game, and they will look to improve to 12-0 with a win on the road to New Orleans. Win or lose that game, the Panthers will he heavy favorites in this game.
Carolina has a strong defense, and Cam Newton has had the best year of his career. They are tough to stop, but they have to lose at some point right? Maybe it will be in this game.
Week 15: at Jacksonville Jaguars
That’s right, a third-straight road game in December. This one will take place in sunny Florida, however, and could be a battle of the offenses. Jacksonville has plenty of talent on offense, and will test the Atlanta defense. But the Jags defense has struggled this year, so there will be plenty of opportunities for the Falcons to score points so long as they don’t turn it over.
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Atlanta will be favored to win this game, the final road game of the year. They will need to win at least one of the first two for this game to have any relevance.
Week 16: Carolina Panthers
The Falcons return home in Week 16 to take on the Carolina Panthers. Who knows, maybe the Panthers will already have the No. 1 seed wrapped up by then. In such a case, it’s possible they will rest some of the starters. Or at least, they may take their first off the gas with the bye wrapped up.
Atlanta can’t rely on that, though, and will need to play a flawless game to get past a strong Carolina team.
Week 17: New Orleans Saints
It was the New Orleans Saints who inflicted the first defeat on the Falcons this year, and it seemed to hit a series of dominoes resulting in multiple losses. The Falcons will have to wait until Week 17 to get revenge, and who knows, maybe a playoff spot will be up for grabs.
The Saints defense has struggled, and the Falcons should be able to move the football. This could be a huge game.