The Atlanta Falcons have played 13 games in the 2016 season. They have three games left. They may also break the franchise scoring record by the end of their upcoming game.
The 1998 Falcons, that lovable Super Bowl-bound squad that dominated the NFC thanks to a great defense and Jamal Anderson’s Super Saiyan season, are the all-time franchise record holders for points scored. They put up 442 that year, and this year’s Falcons team is already at 428. If they get two touchdowns—almost a fait accompli for a team at home against the hapless 49ers—they’ll tie it, and chances are very good they’ll have the record well in their collective rear view mirrors by the time 8 p.m. rolls around on Sunday night.
This is nuts, obviously, and yet it makes perfect sense if you’ve watched this offense eviscerate, obliterate, and annihilate nearly every opponent on the schedule. With the best quarterback in franchise history, a strong running game, the most talented receiver in franchise history, and one of the best offensive lines in the team’s 50-plus years in existence, it’s little surprise they’ve wracked up the points. Kyle Shanahan has done a great job of maximizing the team’s talent further, and while the defense has been an active liability at time, they’ve also gotten in on the scoring fun, as they did twice against the Rams.
No matter how this season closes, I imagine we’ll remember this 2016 Falcons team fondly as a record-breaking squad and one of the better, more enjoyable Atlanta squads post-1998. I hope this is just the start of something special, but for now, let’s just enjoy the scoring pace and speculate wildly about where they’ll end up.
The Falcons could, with a particularly spirited final three games against three mediocre defenses, jump all the way up into the top 15-20 teams ever for scoring, which would be an incredible accomplishment. The most points scored in a single season will still belong to the 2013 Denver Broncos, who scored an insane 606 points in that dominant season.