Atlanta Falcons remain in division picture despite blowout loss
By Nick Halden
If there is one thing the Atlanta Falcons can take solace in after the Bengals thoroughly beat Atlanta it is the fact despite sitting at 3-4 the Falcons are still in the division race. The New Orleans Saints lost to the Cardinals and appear to be a completely different team than they were under Sean Payton.
The Panthers are selling off their best players and still were able to beat Tampa Bay on Sunday speaking to the level that Tampa is struggling. Tom Brady’s offense is unable to score against even the worst defenses in the league. Their only path to victory is the defense completely dominating and creating consistent turnovers.
Atlanta has an argument as the most stable team in the division even if they went into the year with the least amount of proven talent. Add in the fact that the team can get much better if rookie Desmond Ridder can unlock the passing attack and there is a real reason to believe that this Atlanta team is a real division contender.
The Falcons still have the Panthers, (twice) Steelers, and Bears on the schedule giving them a chance at seven wins. Add in winnable games against the Saints and Bucs and Atlanta’s path to winning the division could be as simple as winning out in the division and finishing the year with nine wins. While Atlanta still isn’t a real playoff contender they are a team who if Desmond Ridder is a franchise quarterback could get hot at the right time and instead of being the worst team in the league find themselves as the NFC South champs and a surprisingly tough out in the first round.
Desmond Ridder being put into the starting lineup is the only path to this team making a run at the division, however, Marcus Mariota has proven he is not capable of being a starting quarterback in this league.