The Atlanta Falcons renew their rivalry against the New Orleans Saints in prime time this week — Thanksgiving Night, with the entire country watching. Both teams have revenge on their minds in this one — the Saints undressed the Falcons in the Superdome on Thanksgiving Night last year, and the Falcons did the same to New Orleans in the same venue two weeks ago.
Atlanta had its best stretch of football of the season in Weeks 10 and 11, dominating the Saints and the Panthers on the road. They came crashing back down to the earth this past week, however, losing to the Buccaneers in a home game where all of their pre-bye week shortcomings were all too evident.
It’s that time of the week again — the game is close to 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 4-8? What if they lose and fall to 3-9?
If the Falcons win
They will have swept the New Orleans Saints for the first time since 2016. No matter how bad a season gets, things feel so much better if the Falcons manage to win both matchups against the Saints. It would make the coming offseason and the wait for the 2020 campaign a lot more bearable for Falcons fans.
The tank would suffer a blow, as Atlanta could possibly drop from the sixth pick to outside of the top 10 with a win. However, much like the game in New Orleans, the tank can be put on pause for a week. It’s never OK to root for a loss against these guys.
A win would be another blow to the Saints in their pursuit of home-field advantage in the NFC, as it would give San Francisco a chance to open up a two-game lead.
More than anything, this fanbase deserves something for having to watch this team vastly underperform not just this season, but ever since the Super Bowl collapse happened. Beating the Saints on Thanksgiving to complete a sweep won’t make up for three years of shortcomings, but it would at least be something.
If the Falcons lose
Then the Saints will achieve a season split, and move the all-time head-to-head record to 53-49 in favor of Atlanta. They will save themselves and their fans an offseason of vicious trash talk from Falcons fans.
The Falcons will get a consolation prize in the form of an enhancement to their draft pick prospects. Moving to 3-9 could potentially move them all the way into a tie for the second overall pick depending on other scores around the NFL.
The Saints will build momentum in their pursuit of the top seed, and could potentially catch the 49ers at the top, depending on if San Francisco can stop Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday.
Falcons fans will once again be disappointed by this team, but we’ve come to expect that.