May 21, 2024

The NFL can be quite unpredictable, with a team’s fortunes fluctuating from week to week. Take the Atlanta Falcons, for example. After a frustrating home loss to the Washington Commanders that left many concerned about their future, they now find themselves leading their division with a surge of momentum following a victory in Tampa.

The game against the Buccaneers wasn’t a work of art, but Atlanta largely dominated, with the only blip being three red zone turnovers. Aside from those isolated errors, it was their most well-rounded performance of the season.

Now, they face the Tennessee Titans, a team in desperate need of a positive turn of events. The Titans are coming off a bye week after suffering three losses in four games, and they’ll be without their starting quarterback, Ryan Tannehill.

Falcons suffer 23-3 loss to Titans in preseason opener

Let’s examine the scenarios for the Falcons in Week 8, both if they win and if they lose:

**If the Falcons Win:**

– Atlanta will improve to a 5-3 record for the season, their best eight-game start since 2016 when they had an equal number of wins and losses.
– Securing a win against the Titans would likely hold special significance for Arthur Smith, who spent a decade with the Titans before becoming the head coach of the Falcons in 2021.
– Atlanta would solidify their first-place position in the division, creating a 1.5-game lead over the Buccaneers, especially since the Buccaneers lost in a Thursday Night Football game.
– If New Orleans loses to Indianapolis that weekend, the Falcons could extend their lead to 2.0 games over the Saints.
– Winning back-to-back road games for the first time since 2021 would be a significant achievement for the Falcons.
– They would maintain an edge in the NFC wildcard race, positioning themselves as a potential playoff contender.

**If the Falcons Lose:**

– A loss to the Titans following the impressive victory over the Buccaneers would be a significant setback, sapping the positive energy gained from the previous game.
– The Falcons would still hold a half-game lead over the Buccaneers but open the door for the New Orleans Saints to catch up and tie them for first place in the division.
– Regardless of the outcome, the Falcons would end Week 8 in first place in the NFC South due to their current tiebreaker advantage over the Saints based on their division record.
– Other teams like the Vikings, Rams, or Commanders could potentially catch up in the NFC wildcard race if they win, putting pressure on the Falcons.
– It’s worth noting that Washington already holds a tiebreaker over Atlanta. However, on the bright side, a loss to the Titans wouldn’t be a conference defeat.
– Atlanta’s struggles on the road would continue, with their away record dropping to 1-3. They have more road games than home games remaining in the season after this one.

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