There are weeks when I struggle to come up with a compelling reason to feel confident, and there are even rare weeks where I struggle to come up with a reason to worry about the Falcons. This is not one of those weeks.
With the Chiefs hosting the Falcons this Sunday, there’s an obvious concern and a very weak reason to feel confident we won’t be in for a bloodbath. Let’s hit them both now.
Worry about what Patrick Mahomes is about to do to this defense
Tom Brady had a quiet second half but activated, machine-like, to dismantle the Falcons defense in the second half and win the game. Brady is incredibly old but is still solid and plays on an offense full of weapons, but obviously he’s plenty of capable of putting together the kind of performance that flummoxes even an improved Falcons D.
So what is Patrick Mahomes going to do? Mahomes leads the league in passing yards and is third in adjusted yards per attempt, an indication that he likes to throw deep and he’s awfully good at it. He’s also third in the league for touchdown passes, and I don’t need to tell you that he’s one of the most ridiculously elite players in football.
Against a Falcons defense that has routinely faded late in games, the question is not whether Mahomes will be successful, but how successful he will be. Unfortunately for Atlanta, the return of Ricardo Allen is not enough to allay my fears that Mahomes will find Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Mecole Hardman in particular for long gains all day long, and that Atlanta will find itself essentially unable to stop him.
Feel confident the Falcons will make this closer than it should be
The Falcons should sometimes get blown out by 30 points, but they stubbornly refuse to lose in a way that allows you to sink fully into a miserable mess by 1:30 in the afternoon. I think this will probably be a double digit win for the Chiefs, but it’ll be the closest possible one, if that makes sense, and Atlanta will almost surely be more competitive in the first half than they ought to be. This is just what they do.