Good feelings are prevalent more than ever in and around the team after they went to New Orleans and thoroughly dominated the Saints in a rivalry game. The defense stepped up in a big way, and the offense played a very effective game of keep away. Even Specials Teams was dominant, led by new kicker Younghoe Koo who won NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
This week, the road divisional matchups continue with a trip to Charlotte to face the Carolina Panthers on tap. The Falcons will try to prove that that win against the Saints wasn’t a fluke, and that they can indeed hang with the best in the NFC South.
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 3-7? What if they lose and fall to 2-8?
If the Falcons win
For the first time since Week 2 there wasn’t a complete sense of doom and gloom around the city of Atlanta when it comes to the Falcons. I’m sure that was a welcomed change for the players, who know that another win will keep the feelings positive.
If the Falcons emerge from this game with a win and New Orleans loses to Tampa Bay, there will be a slight sliver of hope that Atlanta can somehow win this division by winning out as 9-7 may get it done with a Saints collapse. I personally doubt it happens, but all possibilities should be taken into account.
On the flip side of things, another win would hurt for those rooting for the tank, as it would drop Atlanta a few spots in the updated draft standings (they’re currently in 6th place).
A win would also move Dan Quinn’s career record against Carolina as a head coach to an impressive 7-2. Carolina would be dealt a blow in both their divisional and Wild Card hopes.
If the Falcons lose
It’ll go back to business as usual. They will not have been able to build off of the Saints game and will officially hit the 8-loss mark, making a winning season mathematically impossible.
The tank would remain intact, however, and the Falcons would potentially find themselves tied for the second pick in the draft depending on how other score-lines shake out. The Chase Young dream would resume after going on pause for a week.
Carolina will get a boost in their playoff hopes, and would beat the Falcons for the first time since 2017. They would also put pressure on the Saints in the division which isn’t a terrible thing.
Speaking of which, an L here would make the remaining Thanksgiving Game against New Orleans the only one that matters on the rest of Atlanta’s schedule.