Just a few weeks ago, the Atlanta Falcons were in a perfect position to make a last minute playoff run. However, since then, the team has managed to lose its last three games, putting away any potential playoff hopes fans were holding onto. That certainly isn’t the outcome many expected to go into the season, and it does put the Falcons organization in a rare spot.
Atlanta Falcons Latest Loss Shouldn’t Be a Cause for Panic
Since the hiring of Dan Quinn as head coach, the Falcons have been in the playoffs every year, including a Super Bowl appearance in 2016, all but this season. This is great for the organization and keeps fans rallied around the team as well. Because of all this success, it has led to the Falcons drafting late in the first round.
With the teams’ current record they are slated to draft higher than they have in the years past. Being 4-7 at the moment, the Falcons are currently slated to be picking seventh overall if the draft were today. While the team could rattle off some wins to end the season, a high draft pick is still in the works.
The Falcons are a much better team than the record states though. After being decimated at all levels with injuries the team has struggled a lot at times this whole year. With this early draft pick, the team could add a much needed blue chip player in the first round. Then they could continue to add depth throughout the team on both sides of the ball.
New Year, Same Goal
When you sort through the Falcons depth chart it is hard to find many huge holes. Entering the season the team was expected to make a potential Super Bowl run.
So far this season the team has shown some highs and some lows. After starting the season 1-1, the team went on to lose three consecutive games. They then followed that up with three more consecutive wins, then three consecutive losses again. This shows a pattern of the team having hot and cold streaks. With a high draft pick, the team could really set themselves up for instantaneous success.
While the Falcons may be having a down season on the defensive side, the offense has been rolling. Backed by excellent quarterback play, the Falcons have managed to keep their offense thriving. Matt Ryan has been the main reason behind this. He currently leads the league with 3,683 passing yards. He also is having a career year in completion percentage. At the moment Ryan is completing 71.4 percent of his passes. That’s good for second best in the NFL, behind Drew Brees‘ record-shattering 76.4 percent completion rate.
While the team has grown very thin on the defensive side, hope replenished when star linebacker Deion Jones returned to practice last week. While he still hasn’t played in a game since Week One, there is growing hope he will be ready to finish the season with the team. Since Jones left the starting lineup the team has been getting by with sixth-round rookie linebacker Foyesade Oluokun. After being thrown into the fire, Oluokun has shown he can play in the league.
The Falcons’ final stretch of games will matter most to this team. If they continue to lose, they could end up with a high draft pick. However, if they start to win it could restore confidence in this team by the fan base and players.