The season is nearing its merciful end with the last home game of the campaign on tap coming against another disappointing team from the southern division of the other conference (the AFC) — the Jaguars.
It’s that time of the week again — the game is close to 24 hours from kicking off, and football fever is nearing its peak.
Let’s take a look at the hypotheticals of this game — what if the Falcons win and move their record to 6-9? What if they lose and fall to 5-10?
If the Falcons win
It’ll feel like deja vu from last season, when they went on a three-game winning streak to finish the year 7-9. This game would mark Atlanta’s third consecutive victory as they look for another 7-9 finish.
The Falcons fell from pick 8 to pick 12 with last week’s shocking road victory against the San Francisco 49ers. A win in this one could see them potentially drop even further, to pick 15, if the Browns, Colts, and Raiders all lose their games. Atlanta will likely be able to completely forget about the top 10 with a win in either of their final two games.
Dan Quinn will continue putting the pressure on management to keep him going into the 2020 season, as he will be able to point to the strong finish as his reasoning for that request. The players certainly seem to be in his corner.
If the Falcons lose
They will suffer their first double digit defeat season since 2014, after which head coach Mike Smith was fired. That may serve as an omen of things to come for Dan Quinn.
More importantly, defeat would be a boon for Atlanta’s draft pick prospects. Jacksonville also sits at 5-9 and is in direct competition for a higher pick. In fact, the Falcons and Jags are two of six teams with identical 5-9 records but Atlanta is getting the short stick with the lowest pick because they have such a tough strength of schedule. A defeat would likely see the Birds move back into the top 10.
This would also be another home loss, which is something Falcons fans have gotten used to — Atlanta’s record at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a grotesque 2-5 this season. On paper, this game will likely be a sellout, but I don’t know how accurate those figures will actually be.