Buccaneers NFC South Analysis: Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Matt Ryan, Brian Hill, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Falcons are a divisional opponent, making them doubly important to the final record of the Buccaneers. So how did they fare in 2020?

The Atlanta Falcons by any standard had a pretty abysmal year. Somehow a record of 4-12 doesn’t do it justice. Has there been a single season with more blown halftime double-digit leads, heartbreaking losses, and downright buffoonery in NFL history?

The defense at the beginning of the year was too much to overcome. They gave up an AVERAGE of 32 points in five straight losses. There aren’t many offenses in the league that could have won more than a couple of those games. This stretch included the infamous non-recovery against the Dallas Cowboys, pulling defeat from the jaws of victory.

In the middle of the year, they started to right the ship winning four of the next six including slapping the Las Vegas Raiders 43-6. Dan Quinn had been fired, and the team suddenly seemed to have a pulse. The defense started to step up, and Julio Jones looked somewhat healthy, putting up gaudy numbers.

It all came crashing back down towards the end. It could be argued it had more to do with the murderers’ row of playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice, the New Orleans Saints, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Los Angeles Chargers. All of the faults in the roster, and probably a general apathy among the players after such a disappointing chaotic season, piled up and buried them.

The team had some talent, but it couldn’t overcome its deficiencies in three crucial areas and one key injury.