Straight from the Beek

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SFTB: Falcons fans are excited, but tap brakes on playoff talk

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Back-to-back wins. It feels nice just typing that. The Falcons are coming off another impressive win over a division foe – this one a 26-9 thumping of the Panthers – and will play four of their next five games at home. Next up are the Buccaneers. In the meantime, there are plenty of comments and questions flooding my inbox – so let’s get to them now. Just remember that all opinions here are mine unless otherwise noted.

Let’s do this.

Ronald from Port Orange, FL
Was it just four weeks ago we read a statement, "The best thing for a struggling offense is to play the Falcons defense"? Wow. I think that the best help a team can give their secondary is a dominant pass rush. I myself have always believed it takes 11 guys to win. If we can win at least four or five more games do you think Dan Quinn could be back next year?

Matt: Who said Dan Quinn was going anywhere?

Mike from Columbus, GA
What has to happen for the Falcons to get in the playoffs?

Matt: I’ve played around with a couple of different scenarios, Mike, but I can tell you this much: The Falcons are going to need to win out and get A LOT help along the way. One scenario would in which the Falcons could earn the fourth seed (did I just write that?) is Atlanta running the table and the Saints losing five of their remaining six games. I guess anything is possible but that’s probably not gonna happen, folks. Later on today I plan on going through all of the scenarios myself. Our friend Mike Conti over at 92.9 apparently already figured out some scenarios (below):

Raj from Schaumburg, IL
Hi Beek, two wins in a row. I think fans including me were frustrated because these last two wins what we expected FALCONS to deliver more consistently. Changes to coaching reshuffle is working well. Let's hope we keep on this win streak and make it to playoffs at 9-7 and win there in playoffs, so, Falcons can win Super Bowl. What do you think, Beek?

Matt: Well, I agree with you regarding the Falcons’ recent play in their back-to-back wins, Raj. You should give my postgame column a read if you haven’t already. But … let’s tap the brakes on any sort of Super Bowl talk or even playoffs, for that matter. This is a 3-7 team we’re talking about still. The two division wins were very impressive, but the Falcons must win all six of their remaining games – and then get some massive help along the way (as noted above). Enjoy these wins and take it one week at a time, Raj. But as of right now, the Falcons have less than 1 percent of making it into the playoffs.

Michael from Wisconsin
What will it take for the Atlanta Falcons to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday?

Matt: Do what they’ve been doing the last two weeks. Against the Saints and Panthers, the Falcons have not allowed a single touchdown, tallied 11 sacks, picked off four passes and outscored opponents them 55-12. They’ve been dominant on defense and efficient on offense. If they can keep playing like that, I like their chances against just about any team, including the Buccaneers.

Preston from Lincolnton, GA
Beek, what a win! We look fresh and new. I’ve got more of an opinion than question and feel free to add to, correct me or differ. The defense looks a lot better the past two games, I feel that Dan Quinn really overextended himself being head coach and DC. In my own opinion, he is a good defense guy but not a defense guru, for I feel his Legion of Boom in Seattle was something he inherited more than something he built. He never should have put himself on the line to be HC and DC this season. We could have had a better record if anything he should have just been HC and moonlight as a motivational bumper sticker writer! Glad to see the ball club looking better. You’re the best, Beek. Hope you’re gearing up for some happy holidays ahead!

Matt: Dan Quinn did what a head coach should do – he recognized that he needed to shift some responsibilities and move some of his assistants around. Despite people questioning that decision (and let’s face it, when they were 1-7 everyone was questioning everything), Quinn stood firm and it’s hard to argue the results. In my mind this isn’t the time to wonder about the “what if” scenarios because we’re in the middle of a season and the Falcons are merely trying to string some wins together.

Sloane from Melbourne, Australia
G'day Beek. WOW-WEE. Falcons football is a joy to watch. All three phases are firing and it is awesome to see two games of four-quarter football. The return of the long ball was a thing of beauty. Looking forward, even if we run the table, it doesn't appear 9-7 is going to be enough to pinch a wild-card spot. For the rest of the season do you think Falcons should start to consider their draft position? Or, as I think, continue to play our best football and give ourselves plenty of belief going into next season? Or do you have a different opinion all together? Keep up the great work, mate.

Matt: Hey there, Sloane. Always good to hear from you. It doesn’t matter what I, you or anyone really thinks when it comes to what the Falcons should do because they are going to try to do everything they can to win their next six games. They’re going to take it one game at a time and let the chips fall where they may. No one likes losing. I’d much rather continue to watch that brand of Falcons football we’ve seen the last two weeks, wouldn’t you?

Christopher from Oceanside, CA
Beek! Pinch me because I must be dreaming. I thought I was witnessing a semblance of the '85 Bears defense. Couple of points that I'd like to make. First, much credit has to be given to the defense. No touchdowns given up in the past two games. Also, what a complete game played at all three levels. Lastly, I think we also need to give credit to Mr. Blank for sticking with DQ, when everyone was calling for his firing. The past two games are clear evidence that the team is capable of making some noise. Your thoughts?

Matt: There’s a lot to be said for continuity up top. Just look at the Pittsburgh Steelers – they’ve had only three head coaches since 1969. While the first half of this season was extremely disappointing, the players never quit on Dan Quinn. That says a lot. As far as not making a midseason coaching change goes, would good would that do? I’ve never understood those kinds of moves. And, yes, this team – specifically the defense – is playing the way we all expected them to prior to the season. Credit Dan Quinn for making some bold moves and credit the players for sticking together and executing on the field.

SFTB-head_0319

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