Two of the six playoff teams in the NFC were defined by their injury luck, or skill in avoiding injury, whichever you prefer to call it. The Falcons have been relatively healthy for the last two seasons, though they did lose Desmond Trufant, Derrick Shelby, and a handful of key other players in 2016. Aside from the the unfortunate loss of Jack Crawford early in the year and Andy Levitre late, though, they truly were remarkably healthy in 2017.
So were the Rams, who became one of the best young teams in the NFC last season. What did those two teams have in common? Very few games lost to injury, as the chart below outlines.
Honestly, I worry about injuries every single year, so I’m not any more scared than I would be had I never seen this in my life. Injury luck is high-variance from year to year to begin with, and the Falcons have one of the better training staffs in football. We’ll just have to hope they can remain reasonably healthy again, and that any tumble they take due to injury is made up for by offensive improvement. With this team lined up to be one of the NFC’s contenders in 2018, injury really is the thing that most worth worrying about. We’ll hope their luck—or whatever wizardry they’re using—holds for one more year.