We’re a couple days away from more Falcons football. Don’t go! We’re having fun here.
We’re all beginning to accept that this Falcons team is not going to resemble the team we thought we were getting coming into the year. That elite defense is not going to happen, not with players hurt and disappointing to this point. The offense, meanwhile, may actually be better than we anticipated, if the last two weeks are any guide. That makes this team more like the Mike Smith Falcons of yore, with a defense that is good enough to get by (or perhaps a bit more) and an offense that has to carry the team.
This week will provide a solid test of how that reality is going to work out for these Falcons in the weeks to come. The Saints game was a good test, as well, but the Bengals are (on paper) a bit less potent on offense and a bit more robust on defense. It’s another opportunity for the offense to prove they’re for real, and for the defense to show they can do something other than just sort of continuously roll over for nearly 75 minutes. A win would help us all feel better about what’s ahead.
A loss here still doesn’t kill the Falcons, but it puts them in a pretty deep hole and will cast further doubt on their ability to contend. At best, they’ll have a razor thin margin the rest of the way, so knocking off the Bengals is, if not a must, a strong want.
Here’s the key information you need.
Falcons vs. Bengals key info
Time: Sunday, September 30, 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
TV Channel: FOX
Announcers: Greg Gumbel, Bruce Arians, Trent Green
Radio: 92.9 The Game
Odds: The Falcons are favored by nearly a touchdown at home
Prediction: Falcons win, 31-27
Key Questions: What will this Falcons defense look like with Damontae Kazee and Jordan Richards playing safety full-time? Will Takk be back and making an impact, and can other pieces of the pass rush step up? Will the Falcons hang 30 on a team for the third straight week?
SB Nation Opposition Site: Cincy Jungle
2018 Falcons Schedule
Week 1: Falcons @ Eagles, Thursday Night Football, Loss
Week 2: Falcons vs. Panthers, Win
Week 3: Falcons vs. Saints, Loss
Week 4: Falcons vs. Bengals, Sunday September 30 1:00 p.m.
Week 5: Falcons @ Steelers, Sunday October 7 1:00 p.m.
Week 6: Falcons vs. Buccaneers, Sunday October 14 1:00 p.m.
Week 7: Falcons vs. Giants, Monday Night Football October 22 8:15 p.m.
Week 8: BYE WEEK
Week 9: Falcons @ Redskins, Sunday November 4 1:00 p.m.
Week 10: Falcons @ Browns, Sunday November 11 1:00 p.m.
Week 11: Falcons vs. Cowboys, Sunday November 18 1:00 p.m.
Week 12: Falcons @ Saints, Thursday Night Football - Thanksgiving November 22 8:20 p.m.
Week 13: Falcons vs. Ravens, Sunday December 2 1:00 p.m.
Week 14: Falcons @ Packers, Sunday December 9 1:00 p.m.
Week 15: Falcons vs. Cardinals, Sunday December 16 1:00 p.m.
Week 16: Falcons @ Panthers, Sunday December 23 1:00 p.m.
Week 17: Falcons @ Buccaneers, Sunday December 30 1:00 p.m.