Falcons Looking Really Good, but Super Bowl is Still a Pipe Dream
LANDOVER—The Atlanta Falcons blew out the Washington Redskins 38-14 at FedExField in Week Nine. With nearly 500 total yards on offense, the Falcons torched the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense. This showed shades of the Atlanta offense that lit up the scoreboard in 2016, on the way to an NFC championship.
Matt Ryan continued his streak of MVP-like play, with 350 yards and four touchdown passes. His only mistake came on a miscommunication with rookie receiver Calvin Ridley, which led to an interception. Running back Tevin Coleman showed off his receiving skills that were prevalent in 2016, with two touchdown catches. And the Falcons offensive line, although missing both starting guards, opened running lanes that paved the way for 154 total rushing yards.
The cherry on top of Sunday’s blowout win came late in the fourth quarter when Julio Jones took a screen pass 35 yards for a touchdown and his first score of the season. The team swarmed him to celebrate as if it was the game-winning touchdown, though the Falcons led by over 20 points.
The Falcons defense also stepped up on Sunday, holding Washington to just 5/13 on third down. Former MVP Adrian Peterson only mustered 17 rushing yards, 11 coming on one play. Safety Damontae Kazee came up with his fourth interception as well.
This win puts the Falcons at 4-4. Just a few weeks ago, they were 1-4 after getting beaten down by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
By the looks of it, Atlanta has turned their season around. With the Browns and Cowboys coming up, the Falcons have the potential to walk into New Orleans 6-4 on Thanksgiving night.
I’ll admit, I’ve twice written articles claiming that the Falcons’ 2018 season is a lost cause. I placed that responsibility on the defense, however, they have steadily improved and will soon have Pro Bowl linebacker Deion Jones back.
Now I say think the strength of the NFC will keep the Falcons from hosting their own Super Bowl.
The Rams and Saints have powerful offenses and are the easy favorites to represent the NFC. Outside of those teams, Carolina is playing very well and has a 5-2 record. Whether the Panthers or Saints win the division, Atlanta will have hope they can sneak into one of the wild-card spots. At that point, they’ll have to go on the road throughout the playoffs.
But, hey, I’ve been wrong before.
By: David Schiele