Rock bottom is a cold, dark place. The Atlanta Falcons have been the “get right” team in the NFL this year — if your team (and especially your offense) is struggling, then it just needs to play against the Falcons to get back on track.
The Rams are probably thanking the heavens that they get to play this abomination of a Falcons defense after getting shut down against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 6. Jared Goff only recorded 78 passing yards in that game, but he’ll have a golden opportunity to “get right” this week.
It’s that time of the week again — the game is less than 24 hours from kicking off, and football fever is nearing its weekly climax.
Let’s take a look at the hypotheticals of this game — what if the Falcons win and move their record to 2-5? What if they lose and fall to 1-6?
If the Falcons win
To be completely honest with you, I don’t even know why I write this half of the column every week. This team is one incredulous Nelson Agholor drop away from being winless on the season.
I won’t patronize you by looking at the divisional or Wild Card standings — I know you guys are smart enough to realize that division standings no longer matter to this team unless we’re looking at them in the context of next year’s schedule (where your final standing in your division dictates two of your opponents).
A win would primarily likely guarantee Dan Quinn’s job security throughout the rest of the season. Arthur Blank has always been reluctant to make drastic mid-season changes, and a win in one of these next two games before the bye would likely give him a reason not to make one now.
This team needs a win in the worst way after losing what was likely their most winnable game for a while. No matter what, nerves are always eased a little bit after putting a mark in the win column. Some confidence will build if the Falcons can knock off the defending NFC Champions. Whether or not it’s too late to get things going is another matter entirely.
If the Falcons lose
I said last week that if the Falcons lost to the Cardinals the season would be lost, and I’m not backing away from that proclamation. Even with a victory, the record would stand at an ugly 2-5 with a brutal schedule still on tap. A defeat would likely even be more beneficial for draft purposes.
Quinn’s seat is absolute fire at the moment, and that heat will continue to rise closer to a boiling point with a defeat this week. I truly believe that Blank’s hand will be forced and that Quinn will be gone if the Falcons go into the bye week at 1-7.
With Atlanta facing MVP frontrunner Russell Wilson and the dominant Seahawks next week, that scenario is looking increasingly likely.
The Falcons will also be very willing to listen to trade proposals for some of its veteran players ahead of the upcoming NFL trade deadline with another defeat. Serial disappointment Vic Beasley is already on the trade block according to ESPN reports.
The Chase Young to Atlanta dreams will also be enhanced with another home loss.