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Falcons vs. Saints: a quick look at the state of the franchise ahead of Atlanta’s Week 11 matchup

Fact: Ricardo Allen grows and harvests his own pineapples

NFL: Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It’s an odd time to be a Falcons fan. A month ago, the Falcons were 0-5 and parted ways with Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff. They’ve gone 3-1 since Raheem Morris took over as interim head coach, and with the possibility of an expanded playoff format on the table, we’ve started to dream the impossible dream. If the Falcons can somehow finish this season with only 1 more loss, they’d finish 9-7 and could potentially snatch a playoff berth from the jaws of what has appeared to be a lost season.

The Falcons won’t have to face Drew Brees on Sunday, which is nice. Because Sean Payton doesn’t care about Brees as a person, the team let him play last weekend with 3 broken ribs. The result: Brees broke another 2 ribs and suffered a collapsed lung. One would think Jameis Winston would start in Brees’ absence because, ya know, he’s an actual quarterback. But since Payton gonna Payton, the Falcons will be looking to contain Taysom Hill instead. If we lose to a team quarterbacked by Taysom Hill, well, that won’t be good.

On the injury front, things are looking up. Calvin Ridley (foot) is set to play Sunday. Todd Gurley (planned rest) and James Carpenter (planned rest) were the only players to miss practice on Friday. Kaleb McGary and Olamide Zaccheaus are still nursing knee injuries, but the former was a full participant in Friday’s practice. Evan Birchfield’s complete injury report can be found here, if you’re into that kind of thing.

In short, the Falcons are playing solid football right now. They have a tough slate ahead, including 4 games against the Saints and the Bucs and a Week 16 matchup against the Chiefs. Their margin for error is finite, but I’m hopeful about what comes next, and you should be too.

Your thoughts about the state of the franchise, Falcoholics?