We were all mercifully spared of having to watch the Atlanta Falcons play football last week because of the bye, but we’re not so fortunate this time around. Not only do the Falcons have a game this week, but it’s in New Orleans against the 7-1 Saints (who are also coming off of a Bye week of their own, and getting Alvin Kamara back).
The Falcons are in a bad place (or maybe they’re in a good place, depending on how you view tanking) at 1-7, and things will not get any easier as six of their last eight games of the season are against division opponents. That slate starts in New Orleans this weekend.
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 2-7? What if they lose and fall to 1-8?
If the Falcons win
If the Falcons go 3-13 the rest of the way with two of those wins coming against the Saints I won’t completely view this season as an unmitigated and abject failure.
A Falcons win would hurt the pride of that rival fanbase in New Orleans, and it would hurt the Saints in the standings when it comes to both potentially securing a first round bye and the division race as a whole.
A win would also hurt Atlanta’s chase for Chase Young (although maybe his draft stock will fall depending on the length of his suspension) and the highest possible draft pick so it wouldn’t be all good.
No matter what the circumstances of a season, however, I don’t think I can ever be dissatisfied with losing to the Saints. This team owes it to the fanbase to do everything possible to come out of New Orleans with a win on Sunday, even if it’s nothing but pride on the line.
If the Falcons lose
I don’t think anyone would be very surprised. The line in Vegas has the Saints as 12-point favorites as of this writing, which is pretty massive for an NFL game. The Saints will continue chugging at 8-1 while Atlanta falls to 1-8.
Atlanta would continue the descent into football hell with hopes of finding Chase Young as a prize at the very bottom.
A loss would also see the Saints come within three games of the Falcons in the all time head-to-head series. They would be able to possibly tie that series up as early as next year, and that would be horrible.