Noah Coslov of CineSport posed an intriguing question today: Would the Falcons be better off — profile-wise if not record-wise — at 6-2 than 8-0? (I attempted to answer, and the semi-coherent result can be viewed above.)
At 6-2, the Falcons would be seen as one of the NFL’s half-dozen best teams and folks would be calling them one of a handful of Super Bowl contenders. At 8-0, the emphasis has fallen on their perceived weaknesses (as opposed to their considerable) strengths, and the national media has fallen all over itself to tell us that the NFL’s lone undefeated team isn’t a Super Bowl lock.
I’m not blameless. I critiqued the team after the narrow victory over Oakland andwasn’t effusive in my findings, and the next day I noted that the Falcons’ stats weren’t half as impressive as their record. But at some point — and I’d submit we’re getting pretty close to it — doesn’t the record become the only stat that matters?
This isn’t to suggest the Falcons are a Super Bowl lock. They aren’t. No team is. But they’re the only team that’s 8-0, and by sticking their head above the field they’ve become a target. Not sure that’s fair, but what ever is?