jdawg4876 Posted September 23, 2015 Share Posted September 23, 2015 The Atlanta Falcons obviously have had an impressive start to the season with wins against the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants.According to ESPN Stats & Information, 43 percent of teams that have gotten off to 2-0 starts since 1990 have gone on to make the playoffs. But according to the ESPN's Football Power Index, the Falcons have a 75 percent chance of making the playoffs based on the 2-0 start, which is in front of undefeated teams such as the Carolina Panthers (66 percent), the Cincinnati Bengals (65 percent) and this week's opponent, the Dallas Cowboys (61 percent).ESPN Insider Mike Sando took things a step further in declaring the Falcons the NFC South favorite in his latest insider piece. It's a tremendous breakdown that incorporates the fast start, the Pro Football Focus Rankings, The Football Power Index, and the injury factor (Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints).Here's an interesting quote Sando gathered from an unnamed defensive coach who broke down the Falcons' defense on film:"It's a long season, and two games is no enough to draw conclusions, but I really like what they are doing. All the fundamentals are installed. They have the big guys running and the little guys hitting. They have great body posture, which allows for explosive changes of director in the underneath coverage, which should limit YAC (yards after the catch). They have a four-man rush and know how to rush. Combine low YAC with violent tackling and tons of jerseys to the ball, it looks good." So, are the Falcons truly playoff bound as the class of the NFC South? Like the coach above said, it's too early to tell. But Dan Quinn definitely has elevated the level of a play for a team that missed the postseason the previous two seasons.The Falcons can't take the Cowboys lightly this weekend because of their strong defense and tough offensive line. However, 3-0 should be within reach withTony Romo, Dez Bryant, and probably Jason Witten out of the Dallas lineup.Then looking ahead to Week 4, the Falcons catch the Houston Texans in the midst of a quarterback switch from Brian Hoyer to Ryan Mallett, so Houston is still trying to find its footing. But contending with J.J. Watt won't be easy, plus the Texans could get top running back Arian Foster back from groin surgery.Yes, the Washington Redskins are on the schedule in Week 5, but the Week 6 Thursday night matchup against the Saints on the road should be the game that reveals a lot about the Falcons. The rivalry game always has a chance to go either way, no matter the records. And Brees' status coming off a bruised rotator cuff could be a huge factor in the game, even if he plays.The Saints have won three of the past four meetings between the teams in New Orleans, but the Falcons took last year's matchup, 30-14. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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