The Seahawks game is the latest in a long string of games the Falcons are probably going to lose. I miss the days where it was possible to talk yourself into the Falcons winning, but unfortunately those days are long gone.
The Falcons might be without Matt Ryan in this one, and they will definitely be without Ito Smith, James Carpenter, and Desmond Trufant. It was already perhaps the toughest on-paper matchup since Week 1, and without Ryan and the rest of these guys, it’s even more likely to be a bloodbath. I’m going in with no expectations and just the whisper of a hope of a win.
Here’s what you should feel confident about and worry about when the stakes are this low.
Feel confident we’ll see new faces
There’s not much left to play for besides pride, frankly. Arthur Blank is either going to fire Dan Quinn on Monday or he’s not, and he’s seen enough to make that decision regardless of what happens Sunday against the Seahawks.
With that in mind, and with injuries stacking up, you should expect to see new guys mixing in. Christian Blake, Olamide Zaccheaus, Russell Gage, and Justin Hardy all have a chance to contribute at receiver against the Seahawks. Kendall Sheffield is going to continue to start at cornerback, and we could see more Jamal Carter or even (gasp) Sharrod Neasman at safety. If the team’s feeling ambitious, they could even activate Deadrin Senat, who might be at least a useful rotational defensive tackle in 2020, when this team will have to clear out a lot of salary just to get under the cap.
One way or another, you’ll see players you rarely see, and perhaps one you haven’t seen at all. That’s something to look forward to.
Worry that it’ll be yet another blowout
What else could you worry about, really?
There are plenty of Falcons fans who wouldn’t mind a loss here because draft position is unquestionably a big deal for this Falcons team, which needs to rebuild on the fly and could use top draft picks to do it. Those of us who would like to see a win just to prove they can understand that losses at this stage of the season are nothing to get that upset about.
Blowouts, though? Those still suck. Watching the Falcons get absolutely steamrolled over by the Rams last week put me in a foul mood that lasted well into Monday morning, and I don’t really relish watching that same kind of ass-kicking take place in front of a half-empty stadium again. In a season that rapidly has made us numb, that’s the biggest worry still remaining.