The Atlanta Falcons are only one game away from heading back to the Super Bowl for the first time in a long time. Standing in their way is Colin Kapernick and the surprising San Francisco 49ers that are running on all cylinders.
Everyone knows Atlanta has a great passing attack. Everyone knows Atlanta has a bad rushing attack. With one final regular season game, will Atlanta stick to its status quo or figure out how to fix problems?
While not exactly an instant rematch, Thursday’s game between the Falcons and Saints is very close to that. Just three weeks removed from their first encounter, New Orleans hopes to sweep the series while Atlanta looks for revenge.
Gorilla Monsoon said it best: “The irresistible force meets the immovable object.” But what happens when both teams appear to be built to exploit the opposite weakness of each other?
Packers/Bears, Cowboys/49ers and Raiders/Chargers are some of the better known NFL rivalries. For those who don’t pay much attention to the NFC South, the Falcons/Saints game is one of those that should be in the conversation for best NFL rivalry.
The barometer in all sporting events isn’t the number of points a team puts up, but the number of wins. If you only look at that for Atlanta’s upcoming game against Dallas, it should be a walk in the park for the Falcons. Yet this is one of those times where it’s important to pay attention to stats, because that’s one way Dallas may finally hand Atlanta its first loss of the season.
Believe it or not, the matchup of the Eagles and Falcons goes much further than simply Michael Vick facing his former team. While not divisional opponents, the two teams play each other about two times in three years.
With the ground games of both teams near the bottom both on the offensive and defensive sides, the ability of one team to either establish a running game or prevent one may decide this game.
Atlanta opens up division play this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. As the 1-2 Panthers head into the Georgia Dome to face the 3-0 Falcons, Atlanta needs to make sure this doesn’t end up being a trap game.
Unanswered questions from the preseason will finally begin to take shape when the Falcons head to Arrowhead Stadium Sunday.