It feels like clockwork at this point, doesn’t it? Falcons look good, they get their fans’ hopes up and then absolutely blow it down the stretch leaving us wondering where it all went wrong. As if that wasn’t bad enough, in Week 1 it happened against the New Orleans Saints, which is completely unacceptable in its own right.
Now, the Falcons set their sights on the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, who are coming off of their own Week 1 failure, getting blown out on opening night against the Buffalo Bills. The Rams will at the very least have the benefit of three extra days of rest along with no travel, while the Birds have to travel cross country.
Both Atlanta and Los Angeles are 0-1 and somewhat reeling, and both will look at this game as all the more important to avoid the dreaded 0-2 start.
Let’s take a look at the circumstances surrounding the Falcons if they beat the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2, as well as looking at the scenario if they lose.
If the Falcons win
They will pull off what would be the biggest upset of the early season. The spread at the moment is the largest of Week 2, with the Rams as 10.5-point favorites, indicating that the sports books aren’t exactly confident in Atlanta’s chances. A win would overcome the odds, the travel disadvantage and just about everything else.
The Falcons will get back to .500 in the early going and will put themselves in position to move above that mark for the first time since 2017 (I will continue to reference this statistic a lot until it finally happens). This would also be Atlanta’s sixth victory in the last seven meetings against the Rams, and would move them to 8-2 in the last 10 head to head matchups.
More than anything, the psychological boost this kind of victory would give to both the organization and the fanbase would be priceless. The choke job against the Saints does not have to define this team’s season, but whether or not it does will be up to them. Beating the defending champs in the very next game would go a long way in moving everyone past last week’s failure.
If the Falcons lose
The Falcons will fall to 0-2 for the third straight season, leaving them in an immediate early season hole that they have now gotten way too accustomed to at this point.
Not too many people would be surprised to see the Birds suffer defeat at SoFi Stadium, however, as not many are giving them a chance. The issue is that defeat will only compound the failure of the Saints game.
For reference, just over 10% of teams starting 0-2 have made the playoffs over the past few decades, including zero of the 18 teams who started with that record the past two years in an expanded playoff format.
Despite the fact that this would be just the third Rams win against Atlanta since 2003, LA would move their all time record in the head to head series to 49-30-2, highlighting just how much they as a franchise have owned their former division rivals from across the country.
We will be one step closer to focusing strictly on the draft, as we have been at some point in each of the past four seasons.