If Sunday’s game against the Cowboys was a must-win, this Monday night’s game against the Seahawks is no less important. Both matchups have serious playoff implications for a team that is far from a lock to make it.
Fortunately, Atlanta already handled their business against Dallas. Now they need to take care of business on the road against Seattle, something they did easily at the height of their powers a year ago in the postseason. You won’t hear me bandy about the term “must-win” all that much, but the reality is that there are very few games the Falcons can afford to lose the rest of the way without jeopardizing their shot at the postseason. I’m sure what every one of you needed was another tense season!
Fortunately, as I’ve mentioned this week, this is not the most dominant Seattle team Atlanta has had to face off against. That’s not to say they’re particularly shaky or vulnerable, considering they’ve had offensive line issues for years and still boast one of the league’s deeper defenses, but they’re heavily reliant on Russell Wilson’s magic and will be even more reliant on their front seven with Richard Sherman out. This is a winnable game, and given how many winnable games the Falcons have squandered in 2017, they can’t afford to let this moment pass them by.
While I won’t say a loss here is fatal—expecting the Falcons to go 12-4 this year would be kind of insane, I think, and they can probably afford a loss or two and still make the postseason—it would deal them a significant blow. It would give Seattle a head-to-head tiebreaker and a game up in the race, as early as it is still is, and it could put Atlanta even further behind in the NFC South. So yes, this is pretty damn close to a must-win, and hopefully the Falcons will get it done.
What’s your early prediction?