You've heard the stat by now. The Atlanta Falcons have lost ten games to the Cleveland Browns in the last 44 years, and only won two. That's a streak of ineptitude that's hard to believe, even accounting for the fact that the Browns were once a pretty great team.
As discussed this week, these aren't your great uncle's Falcons. This is a lean, mean, game-winning machine of a team, a whirling dervish delivering destruction to an unsuspecting NFL. There's no good reason to believe the Falcons won't march into Cleveland and leave it like Constantinople. No reason, that is, except that godawful history.
The Browns are the poster child for an upset for that reason, and for the reason that they're not as bad as their 1-3 record suggests. The Falcons had a shaky game against a motivated 49ers team last week, and Cleveland is, like San Fran, a decently talented defensive team with a good ground game and an alarmingly inconsistent passing game. Also, Peter King picked against us.
That, coupled with my desire to see our record improve against a team that is employing Jake Delhomme, makes this an oddly important game. The Falcons can really announce their presence to the NFL by moving to 4-1 trouncing a team on the road that has historically owned them.
Honestly, I expect them to do so.