Are the Atlanta Falcons For Real?
The defense has come up huge on many different occasions as well as they are ranked fifth in the league in points allowed, behind only Chicago, San Francisco, Miami and Houston. Matt Ryan has already thrown for over 2,000 yards with 17 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. Tony Gonzalez has proven he is still one of the top tight ends in football, already nabbing 46 receptions for 459 yards and 4 touchdowns.
However, in the back of everyone's mind is the crushing defeat the Falcons suffered at the hands of the New York Giants last season in the first round of the playoffs. They managed to score just two points and failed to prove anything on the biggest stage.
Being a great regular season team is only good for one thing; playoff positioning. Without the ability to perform under the real pressures of the postseason, the team will never be remembered for anything.
So are the Falcons for real? Will their 7-0 start to the season translate into postseason success? They have already leapfrogged the Saints in the division for complete control, but that is only the first step. Ryan will have to continue his hot stretch and this team will need to stay away from the injury bug, but most importantly, they will have to compete with the best of the best.
The NFC is stacked with talent as the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears have recently stood out. The Giants and Green Bay Packers are not far behind either. The Falcons have shown they can win in a variety of ways, and they will need to continue that trend through the postseason.