The Atlanta Falcons have that elusive first win of the season. Now they can focus their energies on their first AFC opponent of the year, the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts have had a bizarre year so far, seeing franchise quarterback Andrew Luck stepping away from the game to tend to his health and having backup QB Jacoby Brissett assume the position.
Sunday, they could also be without budding star linebacker Darius Leonard (in the concussion protocol) and starting cornerback Pierre Desir (nursing a knee injury), making this an even more favorable matchup for Atlanta.
Though, the Falcons haven’t played the Colts since 2015. That game was, well, not something to particularly remember, with the team taking a bad loss to a not-good Colts outfit that fall.
In all, Dan Quinn is 3-11 against the AFC since 2016 (including the Super Bowl), but that 3-1 2015 mark was against the AFC South, this year’s opponents.
The team’s inability to really succeed against teams out of conference isn’t really something that needs to continue, with all of the AFC games on this year’s slate definite competitions.
The Colts are well coached and have talent, namely receiver T.Y. Hilton and resurgent TE Eric Ebron. They also have a stout offensive line led by Quenton Nelson and talent in the defensive front like Justin Houston, Denico Autry and Jabaal Sheard.
The Falcons can win this game if they play their style of football. The Colts are a quality football team with Brissett under center, but the Falcons will give them all they can handle.
It’s just going to take, in part, Quinn’s maturation as a head coach to scheme properly for a team outside of the NFC.
Getting these non-conference wins aren’t the end of the world, but with such a staunch NFC slate ahead, these are wins they can obtain.
Let’s hope the Falcons can buck recent trend and put their best foot forward against the AFC South this season.