The Falcons are reloading to gun down the rest of the schedule this week, so it seemed like a good time to do the same with my expectations.
As you recall, Adam Schultz got on the prediction train early, calling for a 12-4 record. In a poll of the blogosphere at SBN Atlanta, there was a range of opinions. Most recently, I called for the Falcons to go 11-5, so filled with unbridled optimism was I.
All of us reviewed the schedule before we made our choices, but it occurs to me that I have yet to run down the remaining teams and tell you whether I think the Falcons will win or lose each. For the sake of posterity, I'm going to do that now. I hope you're as excited as I am.
If you'd be so good as to head over the jump, I'll break down each matchup. In the interest of not boring you to death, I'm going to limit it to two sentences for each capsule.
Tampa Bay Bucs, WIN
The Bucs are an emerging threat in the NFC South, but their run defense can't pay the bills just yet. The Falcons are home, rested after a bye week and will simply be the better team on the field Sunday.
Baltimore Ravens, LOSS
The Falcons don't lose many games at home and the Ravens have struggled this season. They're still too good a team on almost every level, and I expect the Falcons will have too much trouble containing Ray Rice.
@ St. Louis Rams, WIN
The Rams are another team ahead of the curve, with rookie quarterback Sam Bradford exceeding expectations. They're just not good enough to hang with the Falcons, road woes or no.
Green Bay Packers, WIN
If they were healthy and whole, I would give the Packers the win here. As it is, they're banged up and struggling, and the Falcons should be able to capitalize at home.
@ Tampa Bay Bucs, LOSS
The Falcons have nearly fallen into more than one trap this season, and this is one I don't think they'll be able to avoid. Playing at home and probably trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Bucs will hang on.
@ Carolina Panthers, WIN
I don't want to sound cocky, but things are going to change dramatically for the Panthers if they want to beat the Falcons. They're just not a good team right now.
@ Seattle Seahawks, WIN
The Seahawks are a team with a befuddling track record in 2010. All you need to know is that their defense is banged up, Matt Hasselbeck is ancient and they haven't found a consistent offensive identity.
New Orleans Saints, LOSS
I hate picking a loss to the Saints, but they should be healthy and angry at this point in the season. The Falcons will give them one hell of a game.
Carolina Panthers, WIN
A pissed off Falcons team coming off a big loss going against one of the worst teams in the NFL? This could be a bloodbath.