Just one move, and it’s a big one for the future but not for this week. The Falcons cut ties with Rees Odhiambo, who spent a little time on the inactives list for Atlanta, and activated Deion Jones from injured reserve. Odhiambo and Austin Pasztor leaving gives the Falcons a clearer picture along the offensive line, where Zane Beadles, Ty Sambrailo and Matt Gono are your current backups. Jones will give this Falcons defense a massive boost whenever he’s able to return.
No Deion Jones, sadly, though he was reportedly close to playing. We’ll hope to see him in New Orleans instead.
The Falcons are about as healthy as they’re gonna get otherwise, with Matt Bryant returning and everyone else suiting up against Dallas. The issue is no longer health—unless you’re still furious with Adam Caplan and pining for an alternate dimension in which Deion Jones, Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal and Grady Jarrett never missed any time and the Falcons are currently 6-3—but execution and coaching. There’s not much room left for error.
What’s at stake?
The increasingly slim playoff hopes of the Atlanta Falcons. Losing to the Browns didn’t quite close the book on this season, but it’s made everything to come more difficult, and if the top six teams keep winning there’s simply no chance the Falcons can catch them at this point. It was such an unnecessary, frustrating loss that it’s no wonder fans and players alike are annoyed and upset.
Beating Dallas puts the Falcons in at the #7 seed in the NFC, more than likely, and that plus a little chaos in other games at least puts them on the cusp of inching toward a playoff spot. Lose and we’re not even bothering to pretend they have a shot after this.
Last week I said I was perhaps unreasonably confident in Atlanta’s ability to keep playing quality football, and they responded by stinking the joint up in Cleveland. This week, I’m feeling tepid and this section will reflect that.
The Falcons are treading water. A win here keeps them alive and prepares us to buy in again if they can beat New Orleans on Thanksgiving, but this team’s inability to get properly motivated for the Browns game really makes you wonder if they can keep any sort of winning up. Dallas at home is a significantly easier proposition and a game the Falcons should win, so we’ll end this on a largely happy note and say that. Just don’t count on these Falcons, for good or ill.