We felt pretty good at this time last week, following a victory in New York against the Giants. The Falcons of course followed that up by doing what they usually do — giving the fanbase a punch in the gut in the game immediately after to destroy all good will.
The Falcons blew a fourth quarter lead against the Washington Football Team to fall to 1-3 on the season. That’s put their backs against the wall in the early stages of the season — something they’re all too familiar with. The past two years, they pretty much laid down and died at this point. They have an opportunity to not have a repeat of those same fortunes this time around.
The Birds travel to London for a meeting with the equally desperate 1-3 New York Jets, in their bid to sweep the New York teams. It’s technically a “home game” at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, over 4,000 miles away from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Let’s take a look at circumstances surrounding the Falcons if they beat the New York Jets in Week 5, as well as looking at the scenario if they lose.
If the Falcons win
They’ll have steadied the ship a little bit with a week off on the horizon. Going into that bye week at 2-3 will feel like an achieved checkpoint, welcome in the process of just barely hanging on for dear life on the season.
There will still be some hope for competitiveness late in the year, and the coaching staff and players may even try to sell you on the idea of a playoff run. The Falcons will have achieved their second win after just five weeks, which is at least an accomplishment in comparison to when they achieved that second mark in the W column in 2019 (Week 10) and 2020 (Week 8). I know, the bar is definitely on the floor with this.
Matt Ryan will get his third victory against the Jets in four tries, and help the Falcons move their all time series lead against Gang Green to 8-5.
If the Falcons lose
The season will effectively be over, and once again in October at that. Yes, the Falcons will still be alive mathematically; yes the most optimistic of fans will tell you that they can still regroup after the bye week; but this team is not recovering from going 1-4 in arguably the lightest part of its schedule.
If you thought that the social media outrage from the fanbase was bad after the Washington loss, you will not have seen anything yet. Losing to the Jets heading into the bye week will leave the fanbase furious and visceral for the next two weeks.
The team has already struggled to invoke enough interest to fill the stands during home games this season — the Falcons are reporting average attendance figures of 68,446 through the first two home games, but just a glance at the television will reveal that this is a hilariously generous estimation. That fan interest will continue to wane and Atlanta’s brand new building will continue showcasing the failures of the franchise it was built for, as it has every year since 2018.
I will legitimately begin looking at weekly draft standings following the bye week, as I have in November and December in each of the past two seasons.