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Re-Visiting The Atlanta Falcons Schedule At The Quarter Season Mark

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A re-examination of the schedule.

Kevin C. Cox

The Falcons are sitting at 2-2 at the moment, when I anticipated they'd be 3-1. That's not a huge shock or anything, but given that we're four games into the season and we know a lot more about this team than we did in late August, I thought it was a good time to revisit the schedule. Oh, and there's all those injuries.

Here's who the Falcons have played thus far, with results.

Saints: W
Bengals: L
Buccaneers: W
Vikings: L

Looking at the rest of the schedule and adjusting for what we now know about both the Falcons and the teams they'll be facing, here's how my projection would go:

L @ Giants
W vs. Bears
L @ Ravens
W vs. Lions
W @ Buccaneers
L @ Panthers
W vs. Browns
L vs. Cardinals
L @ Packers
W vs. Steelers
W @ Saints
W vs. Panthers

At the end of it all, I'm sticking with 9-7 until it's no longer feasible to do so, but I had to revisit some of my expectations. This team is going to lose most of its games on the road, more than likely, but in the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome they should fare much better. I think the home/road dichotomy is a little overblown at times, but after watching this team scuffle badly against Cincinnati and Minnesota, I've got to give it at least some credence. There's also the small matter that the injuries suffered thus far could very easily take a team that was already borderline to put up a winning record and completely torpedo them. I'm actually fairly optimistic that won't be the case, but I'm far from sure.

I do believe the defense will improve, however slightly, aside from the obvious downgrade that comes with losing William Moore. I think the offense can still be effective even with some of the obvious, looming questions about the protection and blocking up front. With an NFC South that looks distinctly mediocre, I think the Falcons have a real shot to beat both the Buccaneers and Saints on the road, though that's obviously contingent on the team not suffering more injuries or totally going into the tank. The season is poised on a precipice, and the Falcons need to play better with what they've got left.

What's your projection?