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Falcons fans confident in the team’s ability to win the NFC South

Falcons fans are very confident in the team’s ability to win the NFC South this year, but less confident that the team is heading in the right direction overall. Check out this week’s Reacts results!

NFL: DEC 03 Falcons at Jets Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s been far from a pretty 2023 NFL season for the Atlanta Falcons. The team is 6-6 heading into Week 14 and has struggled mightily on offense through much of the season despite three straight top-10 picks invested in building out this unit. It should be noted that the Falcons have clearly outperformed expectations on defense—hat tip to Ryan Nielsen and Co. for that—but this team is nowhere near as competitive as fans and analysts had hoped.

All that being said, the Falcons are currently projected to land in the playoffs as the NFC South champion thanks to the overall malaise of the division and a stellar 3-0 division record. A critical game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is on tap this week that could very well determine the trajectory of the final four games for Atlanta, as a win would get them an unassailable 4-0 division record and essentially bury the Bucs.

That’s why, despite all the myriad issues this season, Falcons fans are very confident in the team’s ability to win the NFC South. 77% of fans surveyed this week, in fact.

For all the reasons mentioned above, however, overall fan confidence in the direction of the team is significantly lower. That’s because the long-term trajectory is very much in question, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Just 43% of Falcons fans surveyed this week think the team is headed in the right direction.

I think that’s a fair assessment, as the most important position on the team—quarterback—is up-in-the-air at this point. Desmond Ridder has shown some good things here and there, but nowhere near enough to make you confident in his ability as an NFL starter. He’s clearly good enough to be a good, affordable backup—which is far from the worst-case scenario for a 3rd-round QB—but I don’t think anyone would feel comfortable going into 2024 with Ridder as the unquestioned starter.

There’s also the question of whether Arthur Smith is actually helping or hindering this team offensively. His signature, the run game, has been incredibly inconsistent this season and the passing game is outdated and anemic. Many national analysts have questioned the passing game concepts and overall construction of the offense. In my humble opinion, Smith has as much to prove over the final five games as Ridder.

What are your thoughts on these results? Do you agree or disagree? Will the Falcons beat the Bucs and take control of the NFC South this week?

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