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Bair Mail: On playoff prospects, Cordarrelle Patterson and Falcons receiver corps without Calvin Ridley

Your questions get answers in Monday's mailbag


Just got back from Jacksonville after covering the Falcons' 21-14 victory over the Jaguars. It's nice to be back home in the ATL, nice to be covering a team with meaningful games in December.

That's all you can ask for from a team in transition, coming off a real down year, in the first season under a new regime.


What the Falcons do with those impactful games is up to them and their ability to play better, more complete games. They'll also need to help Cordarrelle Patterson produce, with defenses surely selling out to stop the Falcons' best playmaker.

The Falcons are playing tougher defensively, especially on critical downs, and must continue to do so down the line.

You all want to discuss the man of the hour, CP himself, weigh some playoff prospects and see if there's a way to fortify the receiver position. We'll get to all that in Monday's Bair Mail:

Michael Thomas from Waynesboro, Ga.

Do you think we can still go to the playoffs?

Bair: It's possible, Michael, if the Falcons get and stay hot against a tougher portion of the 2021 schedule. They're in the mix for an NFC wild-card spot and will have to beat some tougher teams, including the Buccaneers and Panthers in coming weeks.

The Falcons have lost to some teams also in the mix, so they'll have to be a game up on those squads. They'll also have to play more complete games moving forward, unable to get away with the lapses experienced against Jacksonville. They can beat most anyone, but have to be on point, and scoring lots and lots of points, to do so.

Is it possible? Heck yeah. Is the road going to be tough? Absolutely. But even being here, playing games that matter in December during Arthur Smith's first season, is a win. It's also a sign of progress and proof that these Falcons fight.

Cameron Williams from Lithonia, Ga.

Patterson looked amazing at RB1. I know the Falcons brought Davis in to be the starter, but it seems to be clear who is the better choice between the two. Do you think Patterson remains the starter heading into the Tampa Bay Game? The offense seemed to flow better with him getting the bulk of the carries. With the playoffs still being in reach for the Falcons, I think it is imperative Arthur Smith puts the best product on the field. I would love to know your thoughts. Go Falcons! Rise up!

Bair: I think it's safe to say, Cameron, that we're already at the point where Cordarrelle Patterson's the primary back but part of a rotation. That's what the box score suggests, with Patterson taking the lion's share. He had 16 carries, Mike Davis had five carries and Wayne Gallman had four. Davis has more carries on the season, but I believe Patterson will be the first option, unless situation or matchup dictates otherwise.

It also must be said that Davis is a good back. He's a tough runner hit too often at or behind the line of scrimmage. Give him a full head of steam and he's going to make plays. Patterson's so dynamic that you want the ball in his hands as much as possible.

Mike Todd from Waycross, Ga.

Realistically speaking, we know that the Falcons are in the hunt but if indeed they intend on hunting, is there any possibility of signing some help at the receiver area and if Calvin is not a likely option, can they recoup some of his contract to sign some help. We as fans have no ill will, life is short, and he needs to do what's best but organizationally speaking the team needs some help there.

Bair: Let's address the technical detail, first Mike. The team can't recoup any cap space or money from that deal. The Falcons have the space that they have.

Arthur Smith gets asked about Calvin Ridley once a week and has recently said that he has no update on the receiver, out indefinitely while dealing with a personal matter. I agree that the Falcons could use receiver help, but they'd be signing someone off the street. They have chosen to stick with their people, even on the back end of the roster, to this point. Can't imagine that would change, though you can't eliminate the prospect of adding someone.

They brought Marvin Hall up off the practice squad once, but he didn't make a real impact. I would anticipate them sticking with folks they've got, with Russell Gage the position group's primary target.

Call for questions

Let's refill the mailbag for Wednesday's Bair Mail, where we'll focus on the upcoming challenge of playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Week 13. Submit your comments and questions right here.


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 Falcons Insiders Scott Bair, Tori McElhaney and Terrin Waack. 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.