It’s always been my dream to start a blog series that would go until the end of the season. This is one blog in that series, and I will answer for my predictions next week.
Disclaimer: My takes are almost always correct. So buckle up- buckaroo
I really wanted the offense to look better last week. Even though Tom's record against the Jets is a joke, second best only to his record against the Bills I believe, I still hate going to the Meadowlands. We may leave with a win quite often, but it always seems to be a nightmare. It's like when I go to Taco Bell at 4am. I got what I wanted but I sure as shit didn't look good doing it. I wanted the 41-3 blowout. I did not get it. And not only did I not get it, but we sputtered. Tom was inaccurate. He threw another GD pick. We struggled in the red area. We couldn't ice a game when we had the ball. And on and on it goes.
Now we come into a SNF game against a high powered offense that has the feel of a shootout. Despite plenty of complaints remaining with our struggling defense, they have been the ones winning us games the last two weeks. They had a lot of help from some terrible opposing QB play, but I didn't expect to win any games this year scoring 19 or 24 points. We need to be operating around the 30 points per game mark. Any time the defense keeps teams under 24 I believe that we will win (RIP in peace US Soccer)
The Falcons have looked very pedestrian so far this year, which I predicted. Not just because of the Super Bowl hangover that almost every team suffers from. Mostly because they overachieved last year. And the NFL is the great equalizer. Look at Oakland. Teams that have a big, unaccepted year get some much pre-season hype the next season. Then people take a step back and the season goes in the toilet. No one maintains success year in year out unless your name is the New England Patriots. And that's because we have Tom Brady and they don't.
The Falcons have already gone 0 for 2 in the AFC East matchups this year which I sneaky hate. First of all, it gives the Bills and Dolphins a win where I had them down for a sure loss. Not that I really fear the division at all. Us winning the division is a bigger lock than me winning tickets in Ski Ball (I am DOPE at Ski Ball) so it's fine. Second of all, it feels like there is no chance the Falcons go 0-4 against the AFC East. Something has to give, and I would hate that to be us.
But I'll tell ya what. This would be a good ass win. We are 4-2. I'm happy with that. I'm not satisfied. I'm not thrilled. I'm happy. But we beat the Jets who STINK. The Bucs who STINK. The Saints who STINK. And the Texans who might be decent. We also lost to the Panthers who STINK. I'm not saying the Falcons are the cream of the crop. They have some horrible losses and sit at 3-2. But this would be a statement win. Slow them down. Show up on offense. Put the league on notice. The reports of our death are greatly exaggerated.
That being said...
Prediction: We will have no answer for Julio Jones. He seems to be healthy after being slowed down by an injury for a few weeks. He is also mad about his lack of touches, and the coaching staff in ATL has said they are going to do whatever it takes to get him the ball. We are well aware of this. We are going to double him all night. But Gilmore is out. Rowe is out. Malcolm is going to get the assignment with safety help but its not going to be enough. Julio eats no matter who is covering him, and that includes 5'10" guys who are MELTING in their contract year. He goes for over 100 and 2, count em, 2 tuddies.
Prediction: But on the other hand, the Falcons have no answer for Gronk. I know the teams are slightly different. And I know the Super Bowl is ancient history. It doesn't matter. Gronk said we aren't even allowed to talk about it. But the Falcons didn't seem him last February. And as much tape as they watch it's impossible to simulate what this man can do on the football field. Their linebackers are some of the fastest around, but they are small and quick. Gronk will use his strength to get body position on them and haul in pass after pass. I think he will be instrumental on third down and in the read area. Lets say for me to be right he needs over 5 catches, over 60 yards, and a tuddy.
Prediction: We don't turn the ball over. A lot of talk has been made about how ATL are ball hawks. Ball Falcons? Is that the joke? Idk, it's Friday. But its a point of emphasis. Bill showed the tape of Blount's Super Bowl fumble to the team this week, highlighting how the Falcons are always ripping at the pig skin like vultures. Man, lot of bird references. This is getting away from me. I know my boy Tommy isn't throwing a pick. I know GIlly will never fumble again, his life depends on it. We can't afford to give them free possessions and we wont.
Prediction: I almost picked a loss here. I almost did. But that's coward shit. We're the Pats. We've lost twice at home already this year. It's SNF. Tom is pissed. We lost the Hawks bowl rematch at home. We aint losing this one. I remember saying I didn't think the Saints game would be the shootout everyone expected. This one will be. Pats hang on in a very exciting prime time game 38-34. LETS BRING THIS SUCKER HOME!