Here we are in what look to be better times, following back-to-back seasons of absolute waste. The Falcons have won consecutive games in the month of October or sooner for the first time since 2018, and they currently sit at 3-3 on the campaign.
It’s been back-to-back late victories where the offense put together a big final drive to score points and to secure a positive result. Though one was technically a “home” game (in London, against the Jets), the Falcons will look to finally win their first game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season.
Their next task still isn’t a tall one, as it’s the reeling Carolina Panthers, who have lost four consecutive games after starting the season out 3-0. They’re a team without their best player in Christian McCaffrey, who’s currently on injured reserve.
The Falcons will look to get their head above water for the first time in a long time—more on that in a second—with the water symbolizing the mark of .500.
Let’s take a look at circumstances surrounding the Falcons if they beat the Carolina Panthers in Week 8, as well as looking at the scenario if they lose.
If the Falcons win
Their record will move to 4-3, which will be the first time they will be above .500 at any point in the season since the 10-6 campaign in 2017. The more you think about it, the more wild that statistic gets, and the more it showcases just how disgustingly wasteful this franchise has been regarding Matt Ryan’s prime the past few years.
We will be able to legitimately and unironically turn our attention toward the playoff chase in the NFC. The Falcons are currently tied for the last Wildcard spot in the conference, along with the Vikings, who play the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. A win paired with a Minnesota loss will officially put the Falcons in the playoff picture for the first time in over three years.
Yes, I understand that it’s still very early in the season, but it’s nice to be able to have this conversation instead of looking at draft odds.
Carolina is also in that playoff hunt, but a Falcons win would continue their crash and give them their fifth consecutive defeat.
Matt Ryan’s career record against the Panthers would move to a robust 18-9, with Atlanta’s record in this all time series moving to 34-19.
If the Falcons lose
They will suffer another defeat in the conference and division, moving their conference record to 1-4, and their NFC South record to 0-2. Those dreams about moving to above .500 will have to yet again be put on hold, and may not be achieved at all this season.
That playoff picture won’t happen either, as the schedule gets more daunting with games at New Orleans and Dallas following this one, compounding just how bad defeat against a vulnerable Panthers team would be at the moment.
Carolina will move ahead of Atlanta in the division, once again pushing the Birds to the cellar.