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Falcoholinks: All the news you need for Tuesday, Sept. 18

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Ah, Tuesday. You are the last day to bask in victory before we move on.

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It’s the latest edition of Falcoholinks, your essential roundup of Falcons news. Today brings scary injury news, a Wild West-style shootout in the division, and more.

The alarm bells are ringing for injuries

The Falcons are already banged up and things look like they’re about to get worse. Takk McKinley is dealing with a groin injury with an uncertain prognosis, Andy Levitre may miss time, and Derrick Shelby’s also hurt. The Falcons are still largely fine on offense—Wes Schweitzer was great filling in—but minus Takk this defense is in much worse shape than it was two weeks ago. Hope for good news that may not come.

The NFC South is wild

I dunno if you missed it, but the division is a little bonkers early in the year. You have three 1-1 teams, with every single one of the Falcons, Panthers and Saints “enjoying” at least one dud performance, and the blazing hot Buccaneers atop it at 2-0. Our own Adnan Ikic broke down what happened while you were busy watching the Falcons on Sunday.

Can the Bucs keep it up? History’s not on their side, not with Mike Smith randomly benching players and a spirited debate over Fitzmagic vs. the Bucs offense brewing. The talent has always been there, but the Bucs and Fitzpatrick have been bad bets for season-long success for a very long time.

The offense is back!

The return to relevance is no fluke. The jury’s still out on Steve Sarkisian’s ability to navigate elite defenses, but against a very good one in Carolina, he called an excellent game and the Falcons got 31 points. Matt Ryan’s bounceback from a fluky Week 1 performance, the arrival of Calvin Ridley, and the success of the ground game suggests that all that talk about the team just needing to execute better after Philly was accurate.