It was fun while it lasted. The Atlanta Falcons were officially eliminated from playoff contention after falling to the Buffalo Bills in Week 17. Atlanta’s record now stands at 7-9, which means they’re locked into a losing season for the fourth straight year. While it’s a disappointing outcome, the fact that the team was competitive late into December just a year after finishing 4-12 is worthy of some praise.
Speaking of praise and disappointment, it’s time to check in with the Falcons faithful on the state of the team. All season long, we’ve been asking fans to weigh in on their confidence in the team, among other topics. After a spirited-yet-failed outing against the Bills that led to playoff elimination, how are fans feeling about the direction of the Falcons?
Surprisingly, fans are actually more confident in the team after the loss to Buffalo. Confidence improved from 64% after the win over the Lions to 75% after the loss to the Bills. In some ways, I get it: the competitive loss to the Bills—a serious playoff and possible Super Bowl contender—is much more impressive than a narrow victory over Detroit’s backup QB. I just didn’t expect fans to feel this much better about the team after a loss.
For the first time, the NFL season is now 17 games instead of 16. That means there’s one more contest left on the schedule: a showdown with the hated New Orleans Saints in Week 18. Arthur Smith managed to pull off the upset over the Saints earlier in the year, which means there’s an opportunity for the Falcons to complete the sweep this weekend. A win over New Orleans would end the season on a high note and almost certainly lead to some goodwill for Smith and Co. from the fanbase. Let’s hope the Falcons can get one last win on Sunday.
If you’re interested in having your voice heard, head over to SBNation Reacts and sign up.