Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Why the Falcons Needed to Lose to Buffalo

By: David Schiele (@Deacon_Schiele)

I predicted the Falcons to lose their game against the Buffalo Bills back in April. Ask @ATLSportsNate, I really didn't see how Atlanta could stop a dual-threat quarterback, elite running back, and a pro-bowl tight end. Once I added in the predictable pains of having a new offensive coordinator, the choice to pick Buffalo to win was an easy one.

Don't get it twisted though, I WANTED the Falcons to prove me wrong and win this game. I just didn't realistically see it happening.

I was right. Final score: Bills 23, Falcons 17.

You may have read it...or maybe not, but I wrote a column stating the Falcons got the loss they needed. 

In sum, I said that Atlanta had a cocky attitude after a 10-second runoff gave them their win over the Lions. They carried that attitude throughout the week, instead of recognizing that there were uncharacteristic mistakes that needed to be corrected. This led to the Falcons committing the same mistakes against Buffalo.

Here's why I said the loss was needed:

*Begin scenario*

Imagine the Falcons beat the Bills, just as 99.99% of Falcons fans and "experts" predicted. That gives the Falcons a 4-0 record going into the early bye.

The cocky attitude would've continued and there wouldn't have been a sense of urgency to get better during the bye week.

Coming out the open date, the Falcons host the Miami Dolphins--the same team that just got blanked by the Saints. The Falcons should win that game, so let's put Atlanta at 5-0 and coasting into the Super Bowl rematch in week seven.

Now here's where it gets messy.

Yes, the Patriots just dropped a tough game against Carolina at home, but they're still the Patriots. I know the Falcons will be out for blood and seeking vengeance, but it's not far-fettched to predict a New England victory.

If New England does win that game, Atlanta is morally crushed. Not only did the Falcons fail to get revenge, but the Patriots just ruined their undefeated record. Super Bowl hangover activated. Season over.

*End scenario*

Of course, a loss at New England would still hurt, but not as much as it could because an unblemished record won't be on the line. Plus, Atlanta has a heightened sense of urgency to improve on certain things because they just lost. This means an improved Falcons team will host Miami and then travel to Gillette Stadium, opposed to a complacent Falcons team.

And for that, Buffalo, DBN Fanatics and I thank you.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Falcons vs Bills is the Perfect Trap Game

The 2-1 Buffalo Bills come down to Atlanta to face the undefeated Falcons in a showdown that could easily be an upset.

The Bills have allowed the fewest points in the NFL. They have yet to face a top tier opponent, though. That will change this Sunday.

The Falcons continue to show off their prolific offense this season under new Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Despite a subpar performance in the red zone, the offense has not lost its juice. Expect Julio Jones to score his first touchdown of this season this game—we all know he is itching to.

As long as the offense can get into a rhythm, I think the Dirty Birds can easily pull this one off. If not, expect a showdown similar to week one with the Bears. Chicago had an underrated defense and the Bills certainly do as well. Matt Ryan will have to perform better than he did last week versus the Lions. Knowing his style of play, he should bounce back.

The running game for the Falcons looks better than ever. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman look unstoppable. The Bills definitely have the potential to limit the damage they could do, but keep your fingers crossed, right? 

The Bills offense is not helpless. Don’t assume that. Tyrod Taylor is more than capable of putting points on the board. Taylor could easily have enough time to throw behind his solid o-line. LeSean “Shady” McCoy hasn’t lived up to expectations since last season. Hopefully, it stays that way. If it doesn’t, Atlanta’s front-seven will face the biggest challenge yet this season.

This will be a hard-fought game, but the Falcons will pull out the W. Dan Quinn will make sure his defense is on point, while Sarkisian will have corrected the miscues that the offense has shown in the beginning of the season. Don’t expect a blowout. Just to be safe, keep some Alka-Seltzer, Zantac, or Prilosec nearby.