FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Everyone feeling okay and fully recovered from the insanity that was Falcons-Saints? It's fine if you're not.
That game, after all was nuts. The fourth quarter alone may have sent your heart racing, which Cordarrelle Patterson discussed after a dramatic 27-25 victory over rival New Orleans at the Superdome and we'll examine in Monday's Bair Mail.
"We've got to stop giving people heart attacks," the offensive weapon said.
We'll address that topic and a bunch more from Sunday's game, the good and eyebrow-raising moments alike. We'll also home in on Patterson's play, ponder his future with this franchise and get to a bunch more in this mailbag.
Let's get to it:
Nathan Pruitt from Gainesville, Ga
Hey Scott, It felt like a gut punch when the Falcons gave up an 18 point lead in the 4th to our bitter rival Saints, but after that beautiful pass from Ryan to Patterson and Koo's kick split the uprights, knowing the Saints fans gut punch felt even worse feels pretty good!
I know Cordarrelle Patterson is on a one-year deal but getting him extended has to be a priority for the front office, right?
Bair: As we all know, the Falcons are tight on salary-cap space this season and next. That doesn't bode well for offering big extensions, especially with some massive deals remaining on the books.
Patterson is working on a one-year deal while exploding on the scene, garnering national attention for his offensive production after being known primarily as a return man. Patterson has been awesome under head coach/offensive play caller Arthur Smith, and the Falcons would surely want him back for a return engagement.
There's no guarantee, however, that will happen. We just don't know what his value might be on the open market after a career year. We're also closer to the end of Patterson's career than the beginning, so this next deal might be viewed as the best chance to cash in. He'd be crazy not to evaluate his future through that lens.
We also know what Patterson told our Kris Rhim, that he loves playing here and truly feels at home. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, including the market value to sign someone in his 30s, going through a career renaissance. Can the Falcons match what's offered by others? Will they try to work out an extension before he hits the market this spring? There are a lot of unknowns here and it'll be a major storyline no matter what happens with Patterson's future.
Chris Atlas from Marrieta, Ga.
Hey Bair! I'm shaking as I write this because my blood pressure is elevated. Like Patterson said in the post-game press conference "We've got to stop giving people heart attacks." I don't know how many more of these games I can stomach, playing well for 3 quarters, squandering a lead only to win in the waning moments. WHEW I need a vacation.
Bair: I feel you, Chris. I was frantically writing new ledes to my "gut reactions" story, trying to adjust to each big moment as the clock wound down. It was one crazy finish.
Would they prefer cruising to a 31-10 victory? Sure. But, as Smith points out, that's not the way of the NFL. Most of these games come down to the fourth quarter.
May I recommend Tori McElhaney’s story on how the Falcons are winning for insight on how they're winning late. It's a good one. I do agree that the Falcons have had opportunities to put convincing victories on the ledger, but they haven't been consistent enough to complete them. That complete, four-quarter game hasn't happened yet. It's possible with this group, but they'd better be ready for more late-game heroics. Something tells me we'll see more drama before the year is out.
Charles Jenkins from Riverdale, Ga.
That was a great win over the [Saints]! I see the improvement in the falcons, I know our coach is working on our problems in 4th quarter, I'm hoping for a playoff run, you think we gonna get there?
Bair: This is another time to drop a Jim Mora impression, isn't it? Playoffs?!? Playoffs?!? Well, the Falcons would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. Does it, though? Nope. Not even close.
The fact that the Falcons are in that conversation near midseason is a positive step that will gain value the longer they're in the mix. There are some tough games left on the schedule, including next week's affair in Dallas, but there are some games where the Falcons should be favored. Will they be in a fight for a wild card spot come December. At this point, with the way this team can score, it's certainly possible.
Jerry B. from Hinesville, Ga.
We have got to get Terrell some help on the back end (unbelievable). Had we blitzed more in this game, it would have never gotten close. How do we fix the secondary moving forward? Draft? Free agency? Or hope someone gets better? We made a below average quarterback nearly a hero. Smh.
Bair: I think fixing the defensive front is of greater importance at this stage. The Falcons need an edge rusher or two, and could use an interior defensive lineman (Jordan Davis, anyone?) as well. I think the secondary is in decent shape right now. A.J. Terrell's turning into a lockdown corner. Jaylinn Hawkins is playing well at safety. They're developing Richie Grant and Avery Williams and even Darren Hall for possible roles. There's a young crew there that could grow together.
If they can rush the passer a bit better, that will help on the back end.
Call for questions
Let's fill the mailbag back up! Submit your questions right here for inclusion in Wednesday's mailbag, as we look forward to next week's game against the Cowboys.
Falcons Final Whistle | A Postgame Podcast
Break down the hottest topics surrounding the Atlanta Falcons and how they can impact the team's success with Atlanta Falcons Insiders Scott Bair, Tori McElhaney and Kris Rhim. Like and subscribe to join us for the lively debate on Falcons Final Whistle.
Welcome to Falcons Final Whistle – an Atlanta Falcons football postgame podcast during the season that shifts gears in the offseason to answer a pressing question about the team's future each week through free agency, the NFL Draft and the offseason program.