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Are The Falcons Playoff Bound In 2017?

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Forget The Super Bowl: Are The Falcons Playoff Bound In 2017?

The Atlanta Falcons have been in a three-game slump. They have suffered bad losses to the Bills, Dolphins, and Patriots. Many are wondering will this team be able to make it to the Super Bowl again. They should take a step back and question, “Are the Falcons playoff bound this season?” With the division being in a tight race and the NFC heating up, the Falcons are on the outside looking in. This is still the same team from last year, but numerous problems are holding them back. Luckily, there is more than enough time to get it together. Here are some things that the Falcons have to do to get back to the postseason.

Defense Needs To Stay Poised

Undisciplined is the word to use for this defense. They have hurt themselves the past two weeks, and it has come back to haunt them. If the Falcons stay poised in these situations, they would have two forced turnovers in the past weeks. Also, they have to be better in their run defense. They have allowed over 100 yards to the Patriots, and they are not a good rushing team at all. Dontari Poe was brought in to fix that, but he has had a lackluster season so far. Before his injury, Duke Riley was a liability as a  run defender as well. This team prides itself on being fast and physical. Sadly being too fast and not physical enough can hurt you, and that is what’s happening. This defense has a lot of talent; they just need to handle their business and stay poised.

Sark Needs To Switch It Up

It is the same players, the same scheme, so what’s the problem?

The main problem is execution and knowing when to run the right plays. Running a jet sweep is not a good idea on fourth down near the goal line. Running a screen play and Taylor Gabriel is your lead blocker is not a good idea. Going away from the run when you have a lead should not be an option. Steve Sarkisian has had an up and down season so far, but these past games have truly exposed him. Being predictable will not help you score points, people already know what you are doing. Sark needs to learn how to keep defenses on their toes, something that Kyle Shanahan exceeded in last year in Atlanta.

The Former MVP Needs To Step It Up

Matt Ryan’s MVP season was not a fluke. He was playing some of his best football in a great system. This is the same system, but Ryan has fallen off a bit. His deep ball accuracy has taken a tumble, and his IQ has taken a hit as well. There were numerous times in the New England game where Ryan overthrew his receivers. Besides his accuracy, Ryan has not had too bad of a season. Most of his interceptions have been off of tipped balls. Some of his play can go back to Sark’s game plan, which isn’t doing Ryan or the offense any due diligence. If Ryan can get his play together and Sark can fix the offense, the Falcons can turn the season around.

Beat The Jets

It all starts with this game. If they cannot beat the Jets, you can kiss the season goodbye. This team will not be able to sniff the playoffs if they can’t get a statement win against New York. After that, the Falcons can continue to build confidence going into the rest of the season. They have the Panthers, Cowboys, and then Seattle. Each of those teams has major flaws, so if Atlanta attacks those flaws, they will be in good shape. The season is far from over. With all the talent on the team, it’s too hard to give up now. Are the Falcons playoff bound? We’ll just have to see.