The Falcons have been up-and-down all year, and their reward for that inconsistency is a perfectly decent 3-3 record. That has them in the thick of the NFC South and the larger NFC, but it has also driven a lot of justified hand-wringing about the state of the offense in particular. These Falcons feel like they can be better than this.
A win over the Buccaneers won’t just move the Falcons to 4-3; it’ll also be an important step toward realizing that potential. Tampa Bay has been far better than I expected thus far and looks like a team set to stick around in the NFC South longer than the cratering Panthers or hapless Saints, which makes them Atlanta’s most potent competition both at the moment and perhaps all season long. Beating the Bucs on the road would help with the notion that this isn’t a team built on the road—the Falcons haven’t since early last year—and would propel Atlanta to the top of the division with a chance to stay there. That’s a lot of magic packed into one win.
It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worthwhile. That means there’s some urgency with this game, with so many players and this larger team needing to prove so much, and with the chance to knock the Buccaneers off their crow’s nest in Week 7.
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