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Falcons vs. Saints: Takeaways and irrational reactions to the loss

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Here’s how we feel about the game. Yeah.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

DW

Ahem.

Alcohol, my only friend.

Alcohol, there to the end.

My family, my friends, they’ve left me again.

Alcohol, alcohol, my only friend.

Dave Choate

Injuries may very well cost the Falcons this season, but we’re not dead yet.

I still believe the Falcons are talented enough to make the best of the rough hand they’ve been dealt, injury-wise, through the first three weeks of the season. It’s just getting harder and harder every week to thread that needle, what with the increasing number of ailments and the defense’s alarming decline minus their best players. What is clear is that the Falcons are going to have to lean heavily on their offense the rest of the way, and they’re going to need something mighty and heroic and heretofore unseen from what’s left of the defense to make it work.

But they’re not dead yet.

Kendall Jackson

PLEASE

Stop pissing away Matt Ryan’s awesome performances.

Cory Woodroof

Atlanta will have to, once more, rely on high-power offense to win games.

It’s almost kind of comical to think that, after 2017, Atlanta would once again have to resort to the good-old days of explosive offensive performances to win ball games because of a lagging defense. This time, it’s of no fault of the organization, of course. Injuries have ravaged a once-promising unit, and only a Hail Mary trade for FS Earl Thomas, the addition of a stalwart pass rusher via trade and the swift return of Deion Jones will stabilize the on-field output. You’re not even guaranteed one of those right now.

If the offense ever falters, this team does not have the personnel to take down the league’s best teams. Even on a day where they score 37 points, the defense still let a loss slip through its fingers. It’s fair to be pessimistic for this team’s postseason outlook. Quite frankly, it might be wise. But stranger things have happened, and Atlanta is still, believe it or not, in a position to contend for a playoff spot if this offense keeps playing like this and if the defense can rally just enough to be mediocre. The schedule gets a bit easier after Pittsburg, too. Though, no game in the NFL is a given, nor is a season. 2018 has been unexpected in a myriad of ways. One wonders what other surprises await for the year.

Carter Breazeale

The offense will have to bail out the defense -- constantly.

To echo Cory, this season now falls squarely onto the shoulders of the offense. I was optimistic that with the talented personnel that the Falcons possessed, the defense could blossom into a top-five unit in the league. Injuries have laid waste to that prediction, and the best we can aim for is a defensive unit that keeps games within reach. Matt Ryan and Steve Sarkisian seem to have finally developed a cohesion on offense, and there’s no better timing because if the Falcons want to remain competitive they’re going to have to score loads of points.

Torgo

You can’t win if you can’t even walk.

The 2016 team lost quite a few players to injury over the course of the season. But this team already has four starters - including two of last year’s Pro Bowlers - on injured reserve. I really do think the approach to preseason was a factor, in that the players didn’t have enough actual game reps to ramp up to full game endurance by the opener against the Eagles.

As for this game, I first got the sinking feeling very early, when the Falcons threw a bomb and the officials missed an easy interference call. And when Will Lutz hit the upright but still got the three points, that told me that somehow, some way, this would not be our day. So the Falcons are now 1-1 in the critical division games. It’s not over yet, as the offense is looking better every week. Also, every team plays four games against division winners from the prior season, and we already have two of those games out of the way. The defense needs to find some answers, but at least we have a pretty good defensive coaching staff in place to make that happen.

So the season is far from over, but the team can’t withstand many more injuries on defense.