A play away from being 2-2, the Falcons are now reeling at 1-3 following Sunday's loss to the Bengals. It was a second consecutive loss at home, and the performance by an already challenged patchwork defense was even worse than expected.
Guys like Takk McKinley and Vic Beasley appeared to be at their best while veterans like Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant struggled mightily. In between, there was a whole lot of nothing much.
The point is, a coach can shout "next man up!" all he wants to, but the truth is the next man is almost never as good as the first man - not in the nfl, at least. A 53 man roster does not allow a team to stockpile talent like they do on college rosters.
The Falcons are at the bottom of the toughest division in the NFL. They are 1-1 in head-to-head competition. If they are going to turn it around, the time is now!
The hope here is that the pieces the Falcons are trying to meld together on defense will in fact gel and turn into something we can count on.
One of the things that keeps hope alive for me, is that the offense is putting points on the board at a rate reminiscent of their historical output of 2016 during their run to the Super Bowl. Heretofore, it has done them no good. But if the defense (what's left of it) can gel this week in Pittsburgh and build some momentum, well... there is hope. A couple of timely stops on defense every once in a while may help ensure the offense can out-score the opponent –right?
Talk of playing in a hometown Super Bowl this season is on hold. The Falcons and their fans need to win this next game and take advantage of their next to home games before the bye. The Super Bowl is this week!
Yes, this season is on the brink of ending before it ever started. Looking ahead to Sunday, the season begins, and could end, in Pittsburgh. And a Falcons victory will help keep us all in the game for at least another week.
Have I pressed the Panic Button too soon?