Remember when the Falcons beat the Seahawks in the divisional round of the playoffs last January? The Falcons jumped out to a 20-0 first half lead, only to see it evaporate in the fourth quarter, forcing the Falcons to execute a game-winning drive that ended, as so many do, on a Matt Bryant field goal. The Falcons had shaken off their accursed recent playoff history, and they were headed to the NFC Championship Game. They had a very real chance to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. It was one of the most exciting moments in Falcons history.
And now, here we are. The Falcons are 2-6, decimated by injuries, and there are no playoff hopes on the line. A winning season even feels out of reach. We're past the point of must-win games, at this point, it is what it is. But the Falcons do need to win on Sunday, regardless. Why, you ask?
1. Because Seattle's record is better than Seattle actually is.
While one can argue only so much with a record of 8-1, especially when the Falcons are sitting at 2-6, it must be acknowledged that Seattle has looked bad against less-than-great teams over the past couple of weeks. The Seahawks beat the Rams by just five points a couple of weeks ago, and that vaunted Legion of Boom defense let the Tampa Bay Buccaneers run up a 21-point lead on them at home last week. A few weeks before, Seattle barely beat the Texans by a field goal in overtime. Are the Seahawks a good team? Yes. Are they one of the best teams in the NFC? Sure. Are they beatable? Definitely.
2. Because the Falcons are better than their record suggests.
It seems like ancient history, but prior to the Cardinals game, all of Atlanta's losses were by seven points or less. And, aside from the Dolphins, all of the teams the Falcons lost by seven or fewer points to are currently looking like playoff teams. If Roddy White is healthy enough to play, that could give the Falcons a boost.
3. Because Richard Sherman is insufferable.
Seriously, nobody wants to deal with that guy if the Seahawks win. He never stops talking regardless, but he will be infinitely worse if the Seahawks win. The Falcons need to take care of business on Sunday.
What are your reasons that the Falcons need to win?