3 Ways the Atlanta Falcons could become surprise contenders this season
By Nick Halden
3. New Orleans and Carolina underachieve
The way the schedule lines up for Atlanta to have a chance at being competitive they are going to have to have a winning record within their own division. Those wins aren’t going to come against a Tom Brady team that is reloading for one more run at a Super Bowl. Leaving Carolina and New Orleans as four of Atlanta’s most important games this season.
Unless things change drastically in the next two months it appears the Carolina Panthers are going to head into the regular season with Sam Darnold as their starting quarterback. Despite the ugly season, he put together in 2021 it appears Darnold is going to get another shot at the starting job. If that is the case it will be two very winnable games for Atlanta.
Darnold’s only consistencies are his turnovers and struggles to make the right decision in winning time. No matter how their season is going Atlanta is going to have a chance to win any time they line up against Sam Darnold.
New Orleans is a different story despite losing their head coach and heading into year two without Drew Brees. The key for Atlanta in this matchup is also at the quarterback position. Is Jameis Winston the quarterback he was early for the Saints last season or the turnover machine he was in Tampa?
Atlanta hopes Winston returns to the player he was a development that would give the Falcons a chance at beating a deep Saints roster. Also of note here is the fact the history of the series is on the line for the Falcons. Two wins from the Saints would leave the team’s all-time record tied.