Falcons / Pats – Too much emphasis on a win.

I really do not like all the talk about the Falcons winning this weekend to gain “elite” status in the NFL. Yes, a 3-0 start would be worthy of saying the Falcons are a gash darn good team, but great? Not so much. We know that the Falcons can have an elite offense; no doubt about that one, but what about the defense? It is not even close to entering the top 10 in the NFL club.

According to ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas:

Big game: It’s only Week 3, but the Atlanta Falcons are playing their biggest game in five years Sunday at New England. I call it the biggest game the Falcons have played since they went to the NFC Championship Game in 2004, not because it’s a homecoming for Matt Ryan and Thomas Dimitroff. I say it because it’s a chance for the Falcons to show the world they’re an elite team. There’s no better way to do that than going into New England and winning.

I have to disagree. This is not the same New England team as we have come to appreciate.

Danny Sheridan (USA Today) is giving the Falcons 4.5 points, which means that Atlanta is getting some respect. Give the home team 3 points and then say they are only 1.5 better than the Falcons? This game will come down to defenses – how bad is the Patriots defense, and if Moss and Welker play, can Atlanta stop Brady’s boys?

In the same NFC South article:

Secondary opinion: A lot of people talk about Atlanta’s secondary and say Tom Brady’s going to carve it up Sunday. That could happen, but I think this secondary is getting a bad rap. Yes, it’s very true there is not a single stud in this secondary. But that also was the case last year and the Falcons made it to the playoffs. They did that because they hid their defensive weaknesses with the pass rush. That pass rush is better than it was a year ago, now that John Abraham is getting some help from Kroy Biermann. That’s why I’ll argue that Atlanta’s secondary, while still a concern, is better than it was a year ago.

Right, that is exactly what I am saying. The Falcons defense is suspect at best. Maybe it will improve as the young team gets more experience, but right now Falcons fans better keep their fingers crossed.

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