Atlanta Falcons continue trend of pulling off improbable wins
The Atlanta Falcons wait until the end of the year to play great football.
The Atlanta Falcons demolished the Las Vegas Raiders 43-6 Sunday, adding yet another baffling win to the teams’ resume over the last couple of years.
I’d bet money that very few, people, if any, saw coming to the outcome of yesterday’s matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Las Vegas Raiders. The Falcons pretty much put together a perfect game on the defensive side of the ball, while the Raiders played about as bad as you possibly could on offense.
Derek Carr in particular was atrocious, thanks in part to a relentless pass rush and important contributions from unexpected names like LaRoy Reynolds and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner.
Both guys impacted the game by recovering fumbles and Tuioti-Mariner in particular consistently put pressure on Carr. It was an excellent showing all around from the defense and it helped lead the Atlanta Falcons to what is becoming a seasonal trend of unexpected wins over better teams.
Last season, the Atlanta Falcons pulled off wins against the New Orleans Saints and the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers. On paper, the Falcons should have lost both of those games in dominating fashion, but the team came together in both games and put together excellent performances.
The defense continues to lead the Atlanta Falcons late in the season.
The Atlanta Falcons completely dominated a possible playoff team in the manner that they did is impressive and it continues the recent trend of upsetting and outplaying playoff teams. The Falcons had nothing to play for other than pride, and they completely dominated the Raiders.
The defense under Jeff Ulbrich has been a Top 5 defensive team since he took over. They went from dead last in every defensive category, to the middle of the pack over the last six weeks – with no personnel changes.
Ito Smith and Brian Hill both came up big for the Atlanta Falcons on offense as well, rushing for a combined 120 yards. Both men stepped up big in the absence of Todd Gurley and helped to make Matt Ryan‘s day relatively easy.
The Raiders are clearly not among the league’s best teams, but they are in line for a playoff spot as of Week 12.
The Atlanta Falcons will have plenty more opportunities to upset playoff teams with two games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one game with the New Orleans Saints, and one game with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs (this is a long shot).
Don’t be surprised if the Atlanta Falcons pull out one or two wins against these playoff teams.