So, it occurred to me today how remarkable it was that in the midst of this debacle of a season, the the Falcons currently hold wins against 3 first place teams in the NFC ( and 2 of those on the road). In thinking about that, it also occurred to me that most of our losses this season have come against teams likely headed to the playoffs. I went and looked, and the collective record of the opponents we've lost to is a stunning 81-44 ( which averages out to 9-5, and the only sub -500 teams to have beaten us are the Cardinals.and Colts) Only the Bucs the Colts and Cardinals are completely out of the running to make the post-season.
Only 3 teams in the NFC ( all in the West ) have a higher SRS according to football reference and only 2 teams in the AFC. Of those 5, only the Seabags, Lambs and Bills have better records than the Falcons ( Cincy and Arizona being the other two.)
Anyway, I'm no apologist, but it is worth noting that losing to all of the ( more -or -less) playoff-bound teams on our schedule - the Saints twice, the Seahawks , the 49ers, the Vikings the Texans, Titans and Eagles ( that list will include six 10 win teams by season's end, by the way) - would have been 8 losses, and, while it would still be disappointing, it would not seem somehow as shameful to me as what we've currently got ( which is only one loss more and includes 3 REALLY good wins).
Anyway, I guess it's all cold comfort. The Bills and Seahawks have had a tough road and have overperformed. The Rams, should they not make the playoffs will arguably be more of a disappointment than the Falcons. All this season has proved to me is that the only thing Dan Quinn does consistently well is be inconsistent.