If it isn't enough that the Atlanta Falcons season will be on the line during Sunday's matchup against their hated rival all-time bragging rights are up for grabs as well. Yes, far too often in the Sean Payton and Drew Brees years the Saints seemed to get the better of the Falcons. However, in the heated rivalry the Falcons could always fallback to leading the all time record.
That changed last season when the Falcons dropped a very winnable game against New Orleans to fall to 54-54 in franchise history. Sunday's game will not only give the winner the inside track to winning the division but historical bragging rights.
If you're Arthur Smith, you simply can't lose this game after two years of struggling against New Orleans. If there is one thing that Smith can do to get fans off his back it is beating the Saints twice, likely getting the division crown, and owning the all time record by the end of the season.
There should be little faith, however, that Smith can accomplish this considering what we have watched each of the last three seasons. Arthur seems incapable of winning in big spots as proven each of the last games.
A loss in this game doesn't officially end the season for the Falcons but trailing the Saints by two games at 4-7 is as close to over as you can get. It should be viewed as an elimination game for a team that has lost far too many winnable games this season.
With capable quarterback play this team is 6-4 or 7-3 on the season. A large part of this is due to how the game has been called and the lack of situational defense over the past two games. Adjustments must be made or Atlanta will lose both their season and all-time bragging rights.