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Mike Smith's Falcons Have Been Stellar After Bye Weeks

The Falcons have been very successful with time to rest.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Many have written off the season already, but for many reasons, you should at least refrain from writing off this week.

The Falcons are 5-1 coming off of their bye weeks in the Mike Smith era, with the sole loss coming all the way back in 2008 against the Eagles. Given that they're facing a depleted, truly horrific Buccaneers team, the Falcons have a good chance to run that to 6-1 this week, particularly because the handful of players who are fighting through injuries for Atlanta will have had the chance to get better.

Much of this has to do with Mike Smith's strengths and weaknesses as a coach. I think we all agree that Smith struggles with in-game adjustments and even week-to-week tweaks, but when given time to prepare for an opponent, his teams generally come out swinging thanks to quality preparation and (sometimes, anyways) real, critical changes to the way they're playing.

Obviously, this is far from a gimme, because the Falcons haven't been anywhere near good and they have to go on the road to face the Bucs. Small sample sizes aside, it looks like Atlanta will have a real chance in this one.

Your expectations for the game?