The Falcons picked up a second win on Thursday night. It’s sparking optimism that they could parlay the pivot from 1-6 to 1-0 into a shot at the playoffs.
Given that they arguably should be 5-3, it’s not kooky talk. Until considering their remaining schedule.
The Falcons next have a Super Bowl XXXIII rematch with the Broncos, a game Atlanta could/should win. Then comes the bye week.
Then comes the gauntlet.
Atlanta’s final seven games include two against the Saints — and two against the Buccaneers. Making it even more bizarre is the fact that the two Saints games are two weeks apart, and that the two Buccaneers games are two weeks apart, too.
The other three games include the remainder of the AFC West, including a trip to L.A. to play the Chargers and a trip to Kansas City to play the Chiefs. The game against the Chiefs is sandwiched between the Tampa Bay games.
So, yes, the Falcons finished the first half of their slate with a win. The second half has all four AFC West teams and the Saints and Bucs twice each. Which will make it very hard for the Falcons to dig out of their self-created hole.