The Falcons’ greatest asset? The Saints stink, too

Somebody’s going to win this division. Just not anybody any good. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

Somebody's going to win this division. Just not anybody any good. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

Somebody’s going to win this division. Just nobody any good. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

This won’t come as any shock to anyone who has been following these dispatches, but I don’t think the Atlanta Falcons are very good. (Them being 4-7 has something to do with it.) For the past month, I’ve been operating under the assumption that the New Orleans Saints will straighten themselves out and win three in a row and that will be that. But now, the Saints having lost three home games in succession, I’ve reached another conclusion:

They’re not any good, either.

It’s not possible that nobody in the NFC South will win another game because this not-exactly-fearsome-foursome still has divisional dates remaining. (I guess every subsequent intradivision game could conceivably end in a 0-0 tie, but I’m not quite ready to make that leap of no faith.) In a post for ESPN Insider, Aaron Schatz writes that the NFC South champ has a seven percent chance of finishing with a winning record in Football Outsiders’ simulations; it has a 63 percent chance of finishing with a losing record.

But the Saints, who like the Falcons are 4-7 after those three home losses, next play at Pittsburgh, so that’s probably 4-8, and the Falcons’ next three games are against Arizona, Green Bay and Pittsburgh, so that could be 4-10. But here’s the thing: Even at 4-10, the Falcons wouldn’t be out of anything. Their final two games are against New Orleans and Carolina, and the only thing this team has done right is beat NFC South teams. (As we know, the Falcons are 0-7 versus the rest of the league.)

For the past month, I’ve kind of rolled my eyes when the Falcons spoke of making the playoffs. I’m not rolling my eyes anymore. Cringing at the thought of such sub-mediocrity getting rewarded, but not rolling my eyes.

Reader Comments 0

66 comments
GWJ0525
GWJ0525

The aints helped us out by getting blown out at home by the Panthers so will still be in first pace even if we lose at Green Bay. It will be fun to see who wins this division and with how bad a record.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Way to go Aints!

Falcons beat Scam carolina and the Aint's, they win division.

Doesn't matter what they do with GB and pitts. 


One win over either GB or Pitts pretty much guarrantees division.

Nigerian-Prince-In-Exile
Nigerian-Prince-In-Exile

Carolina is leading the Aints 38-3 in New Orleans. This article is spot on. Saints are garbage.Where are the trolls?

NorthFlaFalcon
NorthFlaFalcon

OK so we lose to the Packers ... but we will beat the Panthers in Atlanta ... we have a very good chance of winning a shootout vs the over-rated Steelers ... and so it all comes down to winning in the Katrina Dome. Minimize mistakes and we win down there, win the NFC South and then host a playoff game!

50Concept
50Concept

new orleans and carolina suck more than atl!  atl will make the playoffs--hopefully they can upset some team or at least keep the game close.  Rise up! hopefully thomas doesn't trade 5 draft picks again for a wide receiver.  atl needs a bunch of talent in the draft.  

Joey Smith
Joey Smith

Who ever wins the NFC South should be given a live turkey as an reward.

CarltonWest
CarltonWest

The Falcons will fly into the playoffs, then flap & claw their way to the Super Bowl championship. Wait and see.

spike55
spike55

@CarltonWest Wouldnt that just be hilarious? Make the playoffs at 5-11 and end up winning the Super Bowl? Oh man, the whole league would be so angry.

But all they need is playoff wins like Auburn had last year against Alabama & Georgia; miracles.

BigAlHeBDMan
BigAlHeBDMan

@CarltonWest Those are high expectations, Carlton. Remember, if Green Bay wins the North, you may have to go there again.

JoeTess_sis_PintoPaula
JoeTess_sis_PintoPaula

One of the four turkeys is going to screw up and win this disaster of a division. I hope it is not our birds. At this point, the path to getting better is to finish in third or last place. The winner of the south is just killing their draft position and getting a hard schedule next year. 

The sad team that has the playoff game is going to look like my old Pinto after it got rear-ended. That was quite an explosion!

RandyFalcon
RandyFalcon

This is not a good year for the Falcons to win the NFC South. We need players. We need draft picks. And the way the NFL draft works the teams that don't make the playoffs draft first. Then the playoff teams. So winning the south and making the playoffs would allow several teams that are much better than us to draft before us. I don't want to wait years for this team to recover. I've already waited 48 for this team to be good. No this team needs to lose all the games that they have left. Then we need to take a hard look at the roster to see where we can cut and create salary cap room. Then fire TD and Smitty, hire a good GM and coach. And then do a major makeover on this team. 

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

@RandyFalcon  Damn i had no idea a 8-8 team would jump infront of a 6-10 team like that.  Your 100% right, we need a top 10 pick on Defense way worse than we need a playoff blowout loss.  

atlfanman
atlfanman

The visual of Arthur Blank hovering over his team is obviously disturbing to many bloggers and fans. However, he did pay over one half billion dollars for the team. As annoying this may appear, it is of the least of the Falcons' problems.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@atlfanman

It doesn't just "appear" annoying. It IS annoying--and narcissistic, and ignorant, and embarrassing.

50Concept
50Concept

@atlfanman maybe arthur can sell the team to the other home depot billionaire--maybe he knows more about football.  arthur's too distracted with his hot young girlfriend.

atlfanman
atlfanman

@DawgNole @atlfanman  It is still his team. And if you or anyone else were to buy it be prepared to pay new market value which is twice what Arthur paid for it. When you consider the coaching, the drafting, the lack of evaluation of talent, the lack of strategy, poor game management, although to you it is narcissistic, ignorant and embarrassing, not to mention annoying, it is the least of the Falcons' problems.

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

Rise UP!!!!  ok ok   first things first.... Lets just sit up in bed....

BillFalcon
BillFalcon

If I were King, Arthur Blank would stay in the owner's box, TD and Smitty would be fired ASAP, shift the focus more to strong run and attack defense.  More like the Raven's. Draft/sign big uglies.

gfw
gfw

Yes, Mark, the Saints look strangely, weirdly bad.  Like they have a hex on them, or some kind of collective mental illness.  But as I see the team (and I've watched them 7 times this year), it's still WAY more talented than we are, and WAY better coached.  See if I'm wrong...but I think they'll beat us easily in the second game. 

territory
territory

Yes, my Saints and the Falcons are not good this year. We have no defense and our offense doesn't have the weapons that it use to have and Brees is trying to do too much, hence all of his picks, pick sixes and turnovers. Neither team should be in the playoffs. 

What needs to be done is only the teams with the best records should make the playoffs. Back when the NFC West sucked a few years ago, I thought the Cardinals shouldn't have been in the playoffs w/ a losing record. The same needs to be done in baseball. Only the top teams w/ the best records should make the playoffs. If that means no teams in one division don't make the playoffs, so be it.

Okeetee
Okeetee

Look, everybody in town knows that the game of football is won on the line of scrimmage, true or false? And even though the Falcons have more than an adequate QB and wide receivers to make plays, our offensive line can't make a hole for a mouse to squeak through, nor do they protect Ryan sufficiently to get the ball deep to White and Jones!  In addition to that, our play calling is not good, way too conservative, and our defensive line is pathetically flawed, as well!  So, what it all means is the Falcons will lose the next 3 games by a combined total of 100 points!  6-10 will win this division and the Falcons will NOT get to 6 wins!

turftoe
turftoe

@Okeetee  they won't get to five! Falcons are done for this year.In all fairness the falcons should have 7 wins if it wasn't for Mike Smith,that's enough to win the devision even though we are not very good!

DawgNole
DawgNole

Best thing about the Saints stinking it up is that we don't have to endure their nasty, insufferable fans on here quite as much.

50Concept
50Concept

@DawgNole saints fans have already gone to the bags on their heads---their team sucks more than ATl

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Not only is a team with a losing record going to be in the playoffs, but they are also going to have a home game in the first round.  If the playoffs started today, Atlanta would have a home game against Seattle.  Think about that one for a minute - a team 3 games over 500 gets to play at a team that is 3 games under.

wcancer
wcancer

Mark Bradley, can the falcons refuse to go to the playoffs if they win the division with a 5-11 record? to be serious for a moment, what was the worst division champion, record wise, in NFL history?   

DawgNole
DawgNole

@wcancer

Seattle got in with a losing record a few years ago--and beat the Saints in Round 1, if I'm not mistaken.

turftoe
turftoe

@wcancer  you don't have to worry about that with Mike Smith running this team!

MarkBradley
MarkBradley moderator

Please don't mistake that for a prediction, though.

JSSN
JSSN

@MarkBradley

Difference, no team in the NFC South has a defense to make a run in the playoffs.

MarkBradley
MarkBradley moderator

And here's where I say: The San Francisco Giants entered the postseason with the worst record among qualifiers. They won the championship.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

@MarkBradley  Can Hunter Pence play linebacker? Gregor Blanco play corner? Can Buster Posey play tight end? Can Bumgarner throw a deep out and fade? Hmmm. Might be worth a try.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Say what you want but at least the Falcons are entertaining in their ineptitude. Looking forward to seeing how many touchdown passes Aaron Rodgers will throw against the Falcons defense, and how much hair Blank and TD will lose trying to build a team to emulate them.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@DawgDadII

They're certainly not entertaining if you're a Falcons fan, which I am (regrettably).

spike55
spike55

@DawgDadII I'm all for building a team like GB.  Look how many players they have that have been with the team for several seasons compared to the falcons. I think they have the most in the NFL

JSSN
JSSN

Fran Tarkenton? He should feel right at home with this choke fest!

The mess ends after next week when the AFC North finish off its total annihilation of the NFC South (possibly going 14-1-1 of 16 games). Then much like the sorry SEC East, the rest will go back to the normal run of NFC South teams playing close games with home teams winning, except for the Falcons finale against the Panthers.

Ruffski
Ruffski

Why does it matter? The entire NFL South stinks, and whatever team win the division will do nothing, nada, zilch in the playoffs. 

Wilbo
Wilbo

Historically speaking the Saints have done a much better job than the Falcons at winning games that matter and that will almost certainly be the case this season as well, so you probably won't have to endure the shame of watching the Falcons do their usual and stink up the playoffs AGAIN.

turftoe
turftoe

@Wilbo  It don't matter if the falcons are 4-12 or 12-4 they still stink in the playoffs!

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

@Wilbo  It doesn't matter who wins the South this year.  They will be bounced from the playoffs while they're still burping up their "We Won the South" celebratory cake.