The Atlanta Falcons come out of their bye week at 3-6. If you had told any of us before the season that the team would have a record that poor heading into a critical matchup against the Saints, I think we would have assumed all hope was gone and everyone would be feeling grim about Atlanta’s fortunes.
Instead, heading into the bye and following the bye, 63% of Falcons fans in our weekly Falcoholic Reacts survey are feeling confident in the team. That’s not where you’d expect any 3-6 team to be, but after this season started off with a 0-5 dud and the Falcons have gone 3-1 since under Raheem Morris with real improvement on both sides of the ball, it’s not stunning that fans are feeling like things are trending in the right direction. Hell, even if they don’t do well over the final seven games, there’s big change coming in the offseason, so why not?
This number will likely crater a bit if the Falcons lose to the Saints, more because we’re always disappointed if they lose to New Orleans than because it would be any kind of a shocking result. Similarly, a win would likely buoy a big rise, because beating the Saints is extremely fun, regardless of who might be starting at quarterback.
I wouldn’t expect fan confidence to bottom out again the rest of the year, regardless of how things go over what promises to be a very difficult final seven game stretch. That’s because we are headed into an uncertain but exciting future, and we’ve seen the Falcons at least display some of the talent and promise we were hoping to see way back at the beginning of the year. Now all that remains is to see whether the Falcons can at least give us enjoyable football the rest of the way.