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A quick look at the state of the franchise ahead of Falcons-Saints

Fact: Matt Ryan’s Christmas tree decorates itself

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The 4-7 Falcons are riding high after an absolute drubbing of the Raiders last weekend. A lot of things will have to go right if they want to earn a playoff berth. While it may be mathematically possible, it’s just not likely to come to fruition.

The Falcons will face off against the 9-2 Saints tomorrow, looking to build momentum and get a little revenge for what Taysom Hill did to their defense last month. Falcons-Saints is always a good time, especially when the Falcons win. But let’s be honest, they’ve won 5 of the last 6 matchups, so our smack talking ground is a little shaky at the moment.

As for the good news, the Falcons are no longer in last place in the NFC South. (The Panthers now hold that distinguished honor.) They’ve won 3 of their last 4 games and are looking to get consecutive wins for just the second time this season.

It's anyone's guess how 2021 will play out, but there's no doubt that the next five games matter, both for the coaching staff and the players. Taking an optimistic view, there's a solid core already in place, and we can be sure that Arthur Blank expects the team to be competitive as soon as next season.

On the injury front, James Carpenter is officially out with the groin injury. Dante Fowler (hamstring), Julio Jones (hamstring), and Todd Gurley (knee) are all listed questionable. Both Younghoe Koo (quad) and Keith Smith (knee) were full participants in Friday’s practice. Evan Birchfield’s report can be found here, if you're into that kind of thing.

Your thoughts about the state of the franchise, Falcoholics?