Over the final three weeks of the 2016 season, Atlanta went a little nuts. They not only picked up three wins in three weeks, but they also put up a combined 112 points, nearly 1,500 yards of offense, and cruised into the playoffs as the NFC South champions. That was Atlanta more or less at the peak of their powers.
No one’s expecting those kinds of bonkers numbers again in 2017, not with the way this offense has been chugging along in 2017. They’re scoring fewer points, putting up far fewer yards, and just generally doing the work of a good but not historically great offense. But might Atlanta still do some of its strongest work here at the end of the year, with a mostly healthy roster, three NFC South matchups on deck, and Steve Sarkisian seemingly becoming more comfortable by the week?
Falcons hope to duplicate last season, finish with scoring frenzy https://t.co/iub0Xxj76e— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) December 14, 2017
The key things to note here, as Vaughn McClure does in his piece above, are that Atlanta is 8-0 when scoring more than 20 points, and are pretty healthy minus Tevin Coleman’s concussion (which hopefully he’ll return from in Week 16) and Andy Levitre’s injury (which may cost him the season). The Falcons have a defense that is certainly capable of playing well enough to limit the teams left on their schedule to 20 points or fewer, and if Atlanta can just scrape along at that level, they should be able to snag two wins. If they can elevate their game and reach the heights their talents suggests they’re able to, though, there’s little doubt they can sweep up the NFC South and cruise to the division title.
So it’s the offense that will bear watching these final three weeks. We’ve waited all season for that side of the ball to show that they’re really not all that far away from 2016’s performance, and there’s no time like the present for them to show us.