Where This Meets That
Ten and one. More like ten and “two-feet”. That’s the distance that separates our Falcons from taking an undefeated record into Thursday night’s grudge match against the arch-rival Saints at the Georgia Dome.
They followed it up with the ugliest win I’ve ever seen, at home against the woeful Cardinals. Detractors hung an asterisk on that victory and claimed the “real Falcons” were starting to be revealed.
Skeptics say the Falcons are over-rated because all their games are so close. But the NFL is so competitive that wins must be taken as wins; forget the asterisks.
Consider this: before this weekend’s games, six of the Falcons’ victories were by one score margins, while six of the Panthers’ eight losses were by one score margins (including their head-to-head match). Yet, Carolina’s season is universally recognized as a train wreck.
And the Falcons? After three failed playoff appearances from the Falcons in four years, the pundits say no amount of regular season success matters for the Falcons.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still high from yesterday’s win at Tampa. The Bucs brought a 4-game winning streak into the game, along with one of the league’s strongest rushing offenses and defenses, both of which played against Falcons’ weaknesses. Going into the game, my biggest question was the Falcons’ toughness, whether the team who has been consistently unable to punch it two feet in the clutch would be able to get down into the muck with the hungry team from Tampa and get it done.
They did. And at ten and one – make that ten and “two feet” – I am pumped.
Thursday night, they’ll need toughness oozing from their pores as the Saints come marching in. Brees and company are in a must-win situation. After winning five of their last seven, they remain on the ropes as playoff hopes go. We all know about their vaunted passing game, but it was their running game that chewed up the Falcons in game 1. And now the Falcons top two cornerbacks are ailing.
This game probably won’t factor much into whether the Falcons make the playoffs, but in terms of what they do there, it’s huge. If they can overcome their significant defensive injuries and chalk up a win against their N’awlins nemesis on a short week, then they will be a much better team for it.
Now for just a quick-hitting list of things I’m loving about the Falcons right now:
Are they perfect? Of course not. Are they going to win the Super Bowl? Who knows.
But regardless of what the pundits say, I’m not postponing one ounce of my enthusiasm until January. You can’t ask for anything more than the Falcons are giving us right now, and I hope they bring it all to the face the Saints on Thursday night.
Go Falcons! Rise Up!