Falcons fans have heard nearly everything about their team this season and unfortunately they haven't always liked it while the Falcons won their way to an 11-2 mark this season. The most recent loss, last week to the Carolina Panthers 30-20, came on a day when nothing looked like it could go right for the NFC South champs and there are plenty of doubters expressing their opinion on this year's Falcons. The Falcons look to change perceptions this Sunday as they return to play at home.
This weekend, the Falcons welcome the Giants, a team that hasn't yet clinched a playoff spot but appears well on its way, in a game that might be a must-win on both sides. With three games remaining in the season, the Falcons want to start taking advantage of opportunities to begin to play their best, or least like they did to begin the season. Although they're in the driver's seat right now, the final three games determine a lot about where the Falcons go (or stay) and who they play. It could also be a sign of things to come.
"There are a lot of things that are going to happen over the next four weeks that affect the Atlanta Falcons and affect probably eight or nine other teams in the league," head coach Mike Smith said on Monday. "That's what makes it fun. We've got to go out, first and foremost, and play our best football here in the fourth quarter. We said that last week leading into it that was our goal to come out in the fourth quarter and play our best football of the year."
The fortunate thing for the Falcons is they get to return home to the friendly Georgia Dome for their next game to start their track toward the playoffs. The Georgia Dome has been very good to the Falcons under Smith since 2008. Inside the dome, the Falcons are 32-6 under Smith.
Matt Ryan came to Atlanta with Smith and has won 32 of his first 36 starts at home, a record that is better than every other quarterback in the Super Bowl era. Against the Giants, he will be looking for his 11th consecutive win at home. In games when Ryan sports a QB rating of 100 or better at home, he is 19-0.
Roddy White also saves some of his best for the home crowd. In the last 10 games at home he has averaged 107.5 yards per game and has seven touchdowns with seven 100-yard games.