3 Atlanta Falcons that must improve to keep playoff hopes alive

Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets
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1. Taylor Heinicke

This is the most obvious inclusion for the Atlanta Falcons, if they had anything close to a capable quarterback this season this team has 9-10 wins already. Yes, Arthur Smith's offense isn't helping but it doesn't require the terrible turnovers that Ridder consistently created.

What we watched from Heinicke in two games this season gives little reason to believe that is about to change. Taylor gave the defense so many turnover chances that simply weren't converted. There is no explaining the improved scoring when you watch the level of play that Heinicke brought in his two starts.

The veteran faced two must-win situations and simply couldn't get it done. What little playoff hopes are left for the Falcons require Taylor to be the player he was in Washington. If Atlanta can get that version of Taylor, they will have a chance to win out and sneak into the playoffs.

Heinicke has a bit of a gunslinger mentality and will have a healthy level of turnover chances even at his best. However, what can't happen is what Atlanta saw earlier in the year all of the turnover chances without the big play opportunities. The season and likely Smith's tenure hinges on Taylor Heinicke.