The Atlanta Falcons may be 1-4 coming off their Bye Week, but they are no where near as bad as their record would indicate.
With the addition of Julio Jones to the Injured Reserve list, Atlanta now has six starters who will have missed at least four games this season. Jones joins defensive end Kroy Biermann and fullback Bradie Ewing as the newest of three starters to be placed on the injured reserve for the rest of the season. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is on the injured reserve-designated list, meaning the earliest he he can return is Week 11. Running back Steven Jackson was injured in Atlanta’s only win of the season back in Week 2, and even though he’s played every game, Roddy White’s nagging have left him as nothing more than a decoy.
The addition of running back Steven Jackson was supposed to give the Falcons depth in their running attack, something that was sorely lacking last season. Thanks to injuries, it hasn't panned out the way Atlanta hoped. Still, when it comes to getting yards in a game, Atlanta is one of the best. Regarding all offensive yards, Atlanta averages slightly less than 400 yards a game which is still one of the top 10 in the league.
Matt Ryan is actually on course to set a new career high in passing yards and tie his record for touchdowns if he continues throwing the ball at this pace. Both records were set last year with more than 4,700 passing yards and 32 touchdowns. At this clip, Matty Ice will throw for more than 5,200 yards, tie his record of 32 touchdowns and throw just 10 interceptions, one more than his record low.
People may not think of Atlanta’s defense as an elite one, but they’re definitely underrated. When you consider that the four Falcons losses have been by a combined 19 points, you see how crucial four additional points in a game can be. Six of Atlanta’s 13 victories last year were won by seven points or less. Give Atlanta four more points in their four losses this season and it’s very possible this team could be 4-1 instead of 1-4.
So for all the people who are claiming the Falcons are a horrible team, you can see that there isn’t much of a difference between this year’s squad and the 13-3 team from last year. Hopefully against the Bucs Atlanta will figure out how to turn those close field goals into touchdowns. If they can, an 11-5 record isn’t out of the question. #RiseUp