The Atlanta Falcons came into the 2017 NFL season with extremely high expectations after narrowly missing a Super Bowl win the previous season. At times, the Falcons have blessed their fans and new stadium with just what’s expected, while at other times they’ve played nowhere close to even a playoff contender’s level of play. Here is a ranking of how well they’ve done in each of their 13 games so far this season
No. 13: October 22, Loss at the New Patriots 23-7. This was a chance for Atlanta to come back from blowing a 25 point lead in the Super Bowl against the Patriots to make a statement and beat them in Foxboro. It was not to be, as New England took control of the game and held it against a flat Falcons team.
No. 12: October 15, Loss vs. the Miami Dolphins 20-17. The Falcons were coming off their first loss of the season and looked to rebound well by coming out to a 17-0 lead. Then they let Jay Cutler and the Dolphins score 20 straight in Atlanta before losing on a last minute interception while already in game-tying field goal position. For Atlanta, it was an unacceptable loss for a team with such big aspirations
No. 11: October 1, Loss vs. the Buffalo Bills 23-17. A loss to the Bills at home early in the season looked terrible, but the Bills turned out to be much better than people thought. The Falcons could have won, but failed to convert a last minute fourth down in the red zone. This is still one the Falcons probably feel should have been theirs by the time the fourth quarter started.
No. 10: October 29, Win at the New York Jets 25-20. It was a tough October for the Falcons who played only AFC East opponents that month, but at least they squeaked out one win. This was a sloppy, rain soaked game that the Falcons probably should have won by 10 or 15 points, but they were still stuck in an offensive rut that couldn’t get a lot done
No. 9: September 10, Win at the Chicago Bears 23-17. The Bears had four attempts to win the game inside their own 10 at the last second, but Atlanta held on to pull out a game that never should have been as close as it was. Yes, it was the first game of the season, and yes, it was in Chicago, but the whole offense should have come out to show that they were the same threat they were last season, and they weren’t able to make that statement.
No. 8: December 3, Loss vs. the Minnesota Vikings 14-9. The defense played phenomenally against one of the best teams in football, but absolutely no offense showed up at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This was a showcase of what the playoffs might look like for the Falcons, and they couldn’t quite pull it through. Still it’s encouraging for Atlanta to see that they can hang with the best of them.
No. 7: November 5, Loss at the Carolina Panthers 20-17. The Falcons were on the road against a very good team and were able to scratch and claw their way to being in the game until the end. They had the ball down three with over two minutes to play, but Matt Ryan couldn’t quite lead his offense down the field to win or tie the game up. It was still their most encouraging loss of the season and they have a chance for redemption with an upcoming home game against Carolina to end the season.
No. 6: September 24, Win at the Detroit Lions 30-26. Falcons fans can thank the ten second runoff for this one. The offense looked very good at times in this game, and they really should have won a lot earlier, but they found a way to make it close game in the end. A crazy finish made this game one of the most exciting of the early season, but still one the Falcons should have shown they knew how to finish earlier.
No. 5: December 7, Win vs the New Orleans Saints 20-17. This was a huge win against a fantastic team in a critical spot, but its ranked so low because it was such a sloppy game. Matt Ryan threw some terrible interceptions, and the Falcons were able to take advantage of some costly Saints injuries. This is one the Saints are definitely looking forward to the rematch of, and the Falcons know they have to tighten up when they travel to New Orleans next week.
No. 4: November 26, Win vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-20. This was probably the Falcons biggest blowout win with Julio Jones going off for 200+ yards. At the end of the day, however, that is pretty much what Atlanta is supposed to do against the lowly Buccaneers. It was encouraging to see the Falcons take care of business, but there were better games.
No. 3: November 20, Win at the Seattle Seahawks 34-31. The Falcons offense turned it on in a tough environment and the defense made plays on Russell Wilson all game. This was a huge game from the playoff race standpoint and put the Falcons in good position. But in typical Falcons fashion, they still managed to put allow Blair Walsh to attempt a game tying field goal in the end. The Falcons are lucky he missed, but he never should have had the opportunity.
No. 2: September 17, Win vs. the Green Bay Packers 34-23. There couldn’t have been a better way to open a new stadium than dominating Aaron Rodgers and the Packers like the Falcons did. The Packers faded without Rodgers later on, but at that time they were one of the top teams in the league, and the Falcons put them in the ground
No. 1: November 12, Win vs. the Dallas Cowboys 27-7. This was the turning point of the season. The Falcons came into this game 4-4 with a tough schedule ahead. Things looked bleak, and the Cowboys had just beaten the Redskins and Chiefs. Then the Cowboys came to town, and Atlanta destroyed them, with Adrian Clayborn getting six sacks. Since then, they’ve been a new team and they are back well within the playoff race.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Atlanta Falcons article is published, fill out our email notification form.