It started with a Week 1 Monday night home loss to a divisional foe, which left a bad taste in my mouth considering most of my family members are Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans.
But the Atlanta Falcons bounced back, winning their next four against a rising Oakland Raiders team, the defending Super Bowl champions and two other division rivals. Over that four-game span, the Falcons averaged 37.7 points per game and outscored their opponents by 10.5 points. Despite a 4-1 start to the season, Atlanta had been prone to starting the season off strong but eventually hitting a roadblock which then makes people count them out late in the season. Five weeks into the regular season, the Falcons ranked No. 14 in Super Bowl odds with a 30-1 chance of reaching it, per CBS Sports.
Two tightly contested games after a win against the Broncos — with one ending in controversial fashion as Richard Sherman clearly held Julio Jones on the potential game-winning drive — saw the Falcons drop two consecutive games to the Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers. With three games against tough opponents before a bye week, it was going to be critical for Atlanta to stay above .500 as the Packers, Bucs and Eagles stood in the way.