Tampa — The Falcons are 9-1, but by my reckoning they’ve played one really good game in their past seven. (The one: At Philadelphia ahead of Hurricane Sandy.) Then again, they’ve won five of those six not-really-good games, so what’s the problem?
This: A team wants to be playing well in December, so as to keep playing well into January/February. The Falcons know this better than anyone, having seen consecutive seasons ended by teams that weren’t, as of Thanksgiving, anywhere near locks to qualify for postseason fun and frolic. We know already that these Falcons will make the playoffs. What we don’t know is if they’ll fare any better once there.
Today marks Game 1 of a loaded (and shortened) week. They play the Buccaneers, who’ve won four in a row, and then they play the Saints, who’ve won five of six, on Thursday night. Sweep the week and we won’t be quibbling, at least not so much.