By defeating the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons have their first two-game winning streak of the season. Most people likely anticipated the Falcons having more than one two-game winning streak or at least more than three wins altogether.
Before the season began, there was some optimism that Atlanta could return to competing for the NFC South crown. Matt Ryan was still under center, Devonta Freeman was returning from injury, and Julio Jones remained as one of the best receivers in the NFL.
On the other hand, the defense was expected to return to being a formidable group with Dan Quinn assuming the play-calling duties. Despite all of those things, the Falcons underwhelmed for the first eight weeks of the season.
Just a few weeks ago, Atlanta was sitting with a 1-7 record and there were murmurs that the team could move on from Quinn. Then, over the team’s bye week, the Falcons underwent a complete makeover.
Since Week 10, the Falcons have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 55-12. In other words, Atlanta is finally playing how we expected the team to perform.
In Week 10, Atlanta surprisingly took down the New Orleans Saints 26-9 at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome. While in a hostile environment, Dan Quinn’s defense proved to be the difference as it sacked Drew Brees six times. Prior to that game, the entire defense only had seven sacks.
When the Birds upset the Saints, many believed that it was out of the ordinary for Atlanta to win. But then Quinn’s squad showed that they are beginning to get into a groove after Sunday’s contest. Whatever Quinn told his team during the bye week; it obviously resonated with his players.
Against the Panthers, Atlanta developed its defensive prowess by sacking Kyle Allen times. In addition, the Falcons’ defense allowed hauled in four interceptions and allowed zero touchdowns for the second consecutive week.
If Atlanta could have played like this on defense earlier in the season, we are talking about a playoff team. Instead, they will likely still end with a record under .500 and will miss the postseason.
Nevertheless, for the time being, Quinn has extended his stay as the Falcons’ head coach. At the same time, the team wants to salvage a season that was once heading towards being catastrophic.
The Falcons will look to continue their recent success in the NFC South in Week 12 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.