3. Atlanta can turn their attention to what the next chapter could look like
Perhaps Panthers or Bears fans will disagree, but in some ways being continually average is more frustrating than simply being a bad football team. Atlanta is always in games and just seems to be a play or two away from the push they need to win a key game.
The Falcons for three years are just a play away and find a way to fall short. At least if Atlanta were tanking there is the hope of a franchise quarterback or a life-changing head coach. For the Falcons, however, in a wide-open NFC South despite losing each week the team is still a game or two away from the playoffs.
Losing to the Saints would end that somewhat and allow Blank and this Atlanta fanbase to look seriously at what changes might be needed. A new head coach is the obvious move but what about Smith's staff? Atlanta has plenty of tough decisions to make this off-season and a loss against their hated rival gives the team a head start on what will be a pivotal off-season.