I can confidently say that the Atlanta Falcons would have put up a better fight in the playoffs against the Dallas Cowboys than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did.
Sure, we will never know for certain whether or not that is a fact but when you look at all the facts, the Falcons were better built to come close to winning a playoff game this season. By the way, in no way am I saying Atlanta deserved the playoffs because they simply didn’t, they had their chances and did not capitalize. But the sport goes deeper than your record, and some teams are more apt to keep games closer.
The Falcons would have played a more competitive game in the playoffs than the Buccaneers did
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got absolutely trounced. They looked like a team that was fighting for the first-overall pick in the draft, and I am sure, right now, they are wishing that is what they were fighting for. I firmly believe that the Falcons would have been a tougher opponent for the Cowboys.
Why is that? The Falcons could lean on their ground game, which would keep the strength of the Cowboys—their pass rush—neutralized. The Bucs, however, had one of the worst running games in NFL history this season and that was clear on Monday as they passed the ball 66, I repeat, 66 freaking times!
You want to talk about a pass rush pinning their ears back and going after a quarterback? That is exactly what Micah Parsons and co. did.
Atlanta may not have the ability to go deep but at least they can impose a death by a thousand cuts. They will run, run, and run some more, something that Tampa just couldn’t do at any point in the season.
What made it even worse for Tampa is that Tom Brady looked like what Marcus Mariota would look like if you gave him 70 pass attempts in a game. And as funny as that is, I seriously mean it. Brady was downright bad and I cannot wait to see fans defend him. Sure, he had to throw it 66 times which is entirely ridiculous but I bet 90% of the NFL’s starting quarterbacks would have played a better game than Brady.
Anyways, the only thing is that the Buccaneers’ defense has a much higher ceiling than the Falcons’ defense. But the difference between a bad Falcons defense and a decent Bucs defense doesn’t make up for the difference between a Falcons offense that could control a game and a Bucs offense that cannot run the ball and has a QB playing like Mariota on a bad day.
While I do not think the Atlanta Falcons would have come out on top against the Dallas Cowboys, I know without a doubt, they would have put up a better battle.