Note: This post is an adjunct to the game column off the Falcons’ 23-20 victory over Oakland, which can be found here.
1. The Falcons’ bye week comes at a propitious moment. They’re 6-0 and riding high, and after three fourth-quarter escapes they’re getting the feeling they can win without playing their best. They need to disabuse themselves of that notion posthaste, and having a week away from football might serve as a reality check. If not, the guess is that Mike Smith will remind them that these past three games could easily have been lost when the team reconvenes next week in Flowery Branch.
2. The run defense is getting offensive, as it were. The Falcons ranked 28th among 32 NFL clubs in rushing defense entering Sunday’s game, and the Raiders, possessors of the league’s lowest-ranked running attack, ground out 149 yards. If that’s not a red flag, then Betsy Ross wasn’t a seamstress.