Atlanta Falcons Season Depends on the Next Two Games
It’s still relatively early, but the Atlanta Falcons season hangs in the balance. General manager, Terry Fontenot, has to decide if his team is playoff-worthy in the next two weeks because the trade deadline is November 2. This will be a difficult decision; despite Fontenot claiming this was a win now season, the team has struggled but is improving every week. So is it enough to make a run for the playoffs, or are the Dirty Birds better to sell off pieces to build for the future?
Schedule Hurt the Falcons
The early bye week hurts the evaluation process. The NFL gives teams just eight weeks to play before the trade deadline. The Falcons lost one of the games with a Week 6 bye. The team has made significant gains since Week 1, but the only way to tell if the Falcons are improved is by putting them against other teams.
Fontenot doesn’t have an easy task. It was simple after Week 1. The Falcons looked horrendous and got dismantled by an average Philadelphia Eagles team, 32-6. No one would’ve cared if the entire roster was shipped out. That’s why we don’t run professional sports teams. The Falcons 2-3 record was painfully close to being a 3-2 if the Washington Football Team didn’t come back with a late touchdown. By the same token, you could argue Atlanta could be 1-4 had the team not managed a late field goal to beat the New York Giants.
Dolphins, Panthers Determine Falcons Future
For the Falcons to keep their valuable trade assets, they need to play very well against the Miami Dolphins. Sure, a win is a win, but this needs to be a beat down. The Dolphins lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, ending the second-longest losing streak in NFL History. The Falcons have to score a double-digit win. If the Falcons lose, we are back to Week 1, if not worse. That would be a 2-4 record, and there will be no defense to save any of the pieces that other teams want.
So let’s say Atlanta beats the Dolphins. That would set up a Week 8 showdown with a division rival, the Carolina Panthers. These two teams meet in Week 13, as well. Atlanta would again have to show they are good enough to win in Week 8, but also, it has to be a solid performance to indicate another win is possible five weeks later.
Two days after the Carolina game is the trade deadline. The jury is still out of this Atlanta team. Atlanta has to start making gains to get in with the Wild Card with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers en route to winning the division. When the deadline hits, the Falcons have to be a 4-3 team to prove they have a chance at the postseason. Anything less, and Fontenot has to sell and start preparing for next season.