Falcons fan confidence hit 0% in our weekly Falcoholic Reacts survey after the Week 11 loss to the Saints, and it wasn’t hard to understand why. Atlanta was entirely overmatched by their most bitter rivals, a team starting a gadget player/Sean Payton crush at quarterback, and they were humiliated to the point where they scored just 9 points despite a bye week to prepare. If you want to convince someone you’re not actually heading in the right direction as a franchise, that’s pretty much the textbook definition of how you do it.
This past week, the Falcons hosted the Raiders and surprised just about everybody by thumping them. Forcing turnovers, flustering Derek Carr, and getting just enough juice out of the offense to help out resulted in an impressive 43-6 win, one that made it clear that even a quality team like Las Vegas can be handled by Atlanta when they’re not at their best and this defense is clicking.
That two week roller coaster ride leaves us with...33% of fans feeling confident about the team’s direction heading into a Week 13 matchup against the Saints.
Honestly, if it had been higher than that I would’ve feared fans weren’t learning their lessons. This team has a nasty habit of making you think they’re about to do something and then falling flat, as the up-and-down chart above makes clear. With a game against the same Saints that just embarrassed this team looming, no one’s confidence level is going to be particularly high until the Falcons win, if they can manage to do such a thing.
The boost from that kind of win will be quick to dissipate when they inevitably lose another tough game in the near future, but beating the Saints will obviously spike this number because it feels so darn good. The next big milestone for this particular survey will come in the offseason, when we’ll have a new general manager and possibly all-new coaching staff to put our faith (or lack thereof) into before free agency and the draft.