For the fourth consecutive season the Falcons have started the season out on the back foot, losing in Week 1 in what was yet again demoralizing fashion.
I will say, however, after the Eagles took a 7-3 lead on their first drive of the game Atlanta never took the lead again, so at least there wasn’t a historic collapse this time around. Yes, the bar is below the floor at this point.
Sporting a 0-1 record, the Falcons now have to face what is essentially their toughest game of the season on paper, in Tampa Bay against Tom Brady and the defending champion Buccaneers (who have a few extra days of rest after playing on Thursday).
The barrel of an 0-2 record stares this group dead in the face, as the season could begin unraveling at a rapid pace if they’re not careful — it’s what we saw in both 2019 and 2020. We knew this would be a transition year, but it’d be nice if it wasn’t an awful one.
Let’s take a look at circumstances surrounding the Falcons if they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2, as well as looking at the scenario if they lose.
If the Falcons win
This team will already solidify itself as one of the most confusing in recent memory, just two weeks into the season. To get blown out by the Eagles at home and then to turn around and beat Tampa Bay will be insanely random.
The Falcons will have beaten Tom Brady for the first time ever, in 10 tries (Brady is 9-0 against the Birds in his career, including Super Bowl 51). The GOAT of this professional sport has both toyed with this franchise and ripped its heart out in the most excruciating fashion over the course of his career.
Atlanta will tie the Bucs in the standings early on and will generate some serious momentum ahead of what looks to be a weaker part of their schedule against some very young quarterbacks between weeks 3 and 6.
Much of the fanbase may buy back into the idea of a potential run to the playoffs if they can knock off the defending champions.
If the Falcons lose
They will drop to 0-2 and once again have a hole to climb out of. Their Week 3 matchup against the Giants doesn’t look too difficult on paper, but this team will be under immense pressure to win so that they do not fall to 0-3.
The Bucs will take a very quick 2.0 game lead over the Falcons in the division, as will one of the Saints or Panthers (who are also both 1-0 and playing against each other), leaving Atlanta with another immediately uphill climb as far as the NFC South is concerned.
If they once again fail to score a touchdown there will be a few questions asked of new first time head coach Arthur Smith regarding his game-plan and play-calling, as the voices which echo that he was a product of Derrick Henry’s greatness in Tennessee will only grow louder in his early days in Atlanta. For the record, I don’t believe that to be the case.
The momentum for this team will be at 0, and their upcoming games will be all the more magnified as the danger of another lost season before the colors of autumn even touch the trees down in Georgia — the third consecutive such season — will become more and more prevalent.