For those of you who don’t want the Atlanta Falcons to outright tank, they’ve got quite a slate of games ahead to find last-minute momentum.
The team’s final month of the season looked kind of foreboding when April rolled around, but now, it’s a bit of a Battle of the Bads.
Here’s the remaining December slate:
- At Green Bay (4-7-1)
- Vs. Arizona (3-9)
- At Carolina (6-6)
- At Tampa Bay (5-7)
The Packers just fired their head coach and just haven’t found their stride at all. Not even Aaron Rodgers is playing like himself. Arizona is in a rebuilding year with a new coach. Carolina hit a point of their schedule where they just fell off the map. Tampa Bay is, er, Tampa Bay.
The team has a decent chance of at least getting one win here, with a putrid Cardinals team coming to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. There might not be much of a crowd for that one, but perhaps Atlanta can put forth a good afternoon to inspire a little bit of hope before the year’s out.
Playing the Packers at Lambeau will be tough, but Dan Quinn hasn’t lost to Rodgers yet (3-0 within a year’s span). A road win there could inspire some confidence in this team it desperately needs as it is. Everyone feels good when they win at Green Bay.
The two divisional games will be tough. Carolina will be fighting to get to 10-6 to make the playoffs, so they’ll be playing for much more than Atlanta will. Tampa Bay might be on the brink of a coaching change, so they’re probably just going to want to beat a rival at home to close things out. That’s a winnable one if Atlanta can muster enough offense to make it.
The Falcons are bad right now, but they play a bunch of other bad teams to close things out. It’ll be a good time to grow, but also a good time not to have to worry about getting stomped by a team that’s still contending (sans Carolina, maybe).
If the team does look awful in this stretch, though, it’s indicative of just how far they’ve fallen this season. That’s when you can start getting worried. Looking competitive during this stretch should be an easy thing to do.