The Atlanta Falcons lost another close game on Sunday, this time to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Zebras, I mean Buccaneers. Each of Atlanta’s five games has been decided by a single score including the 21-15 loss on Sunday.
ESPN started the Falcons at No 32 in their NFL Power Rankings, and despite playing well in every game this season, they have constantly looked for reasons to keep the birds down.
ESPN dropped the Falcons from No. 21 to No. 24 after a hard-fought, controversial loss to the Buccaneers who are ranked ninth on the same list. It was one of the few occasions where both teams were dropped after a game as the Bucs went from No. 8 to No. 9.
The place the Falcons’ odds of making the playoffs at just 21.7%, which to be fair, is considerably higher than most would have had them to start the season.
ESPN beat writer Michael Rothstein isn’t ready to call for backup quarterback Desmond Ridder to be the Falcons’ starter, but he’s warming to the idea.
The Falcons are one of three teams completing less than 60% of their passes — only Carolina and Chicago are worse — and Marcus Mariota has seven fumbles in five games. There are times Mariota has made elite-level plays, and he has done well running — seventh in the NFL in rushing yards — but there have been critical miscues in almost every game this season. The Falcons are in the middle of the pack in the NFC, so quarterback play needs to improve to make a playoff run. — Michael Rothstein, ESPN
The Falcons definitely have an uphill battle to make the playoffs despite their good early play to start the season. At 2-3, Atlanta is an 11-point home underdog on Sunday to the San Francisco 49ers according to My Bookie.
While the Falcons can legitimately feel they have had a chance to win every game this season, if they fall to 2-4 the playoffs will look farther than farther away.