Stop Hating on the Atlanta Falcons for Playoff Failures, and More NFC South News

Knox BardeenNFC South Lead WriterNovember 5, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 4: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons gets set to take the field against the Dallas Cowboys at the Georgia Dome on November 4, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Falcons defeated the Cowboys 19-13.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The current mentality of playoff wins being the only thing that matters in the NFL is causing the general public to miss a fantastic season.

The Atlanta Falcons are 8-0, perfect through half the season and Pete Prisco of CBS Sports correctly states the reason why.

"Until this team and this regime can show it can win a playoff game, none of it will matter."

Even though Prisco speaks the truth, it's an asinine idea.

Does the fact that the Falcons are 0-3 under Mike Smith take away from the success he's brought to the franchise since his arrival in 2008? Did the Falcons ever have back-to-back winning seasons before he arrived? Has Atlanta ever experienced four consecutive winning seasons prior to 2008?

The answer is no.

Even though Matt Ryan hasn't performed well in three career playoff appearances and hasn't won a postseason game, does that mean he's not turning in an MVP-caliber season right now? Are Ryan's numbers down in any way? Is Ryan struggling to move the football?

The answer is no.

It's very true that the measure of success is ultimately a Super Bowl ring. There's nothing wrong with that sentiment. However, not paying attention to the 8-0 Falcons because over the past four seasons, the team has a propensity of one-and-done playoff performances? Well, that's just a pity.

Leave the playoff doubting until the regular season ends. Use Atlanta's first-round bye (yes, it's looking like Atlanta will finish with one of the top two seeds in the NFC) as a week you tear Smith, Ryan and the current regime apart for their playoff failures. Wait until January for that conversation.

Right now, you should be watching, and appreciating, the string of wins the Falcons are putting together.


Atlanta Falcons

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, defensive end Ray Edwards played just 18 percent of Atlanta defensive snaps Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

Report cards were handed out by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after Sunday's win over the Cowboys.


Carolina Panthers

Head coach Ron Rivera wants the focus to be on the Carolina players, not the fact that the Panthers will face their old coach, John Fox, when they play the Denver Broncos. (Charlotte Observer)

The Charlotte Observer gave out grades for Sunday's win over the Washington Redskins.


New Orleans Saints

Sean Payton told Jay Glazer he "absolutely" plans on staying with the Saints next season. (Fox Sports)

The Times-Picayune is reporting that the Saints and Sean Payton can negotiate a contract extension right now, even though there is a zero-contact policy in place.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pewter Report gave out grades for Tampa Bay's win over the Oakland Raiders. Any doubt that the running backs got a high score?

The Tampa Bay Times looks at Doug Martin's crazy offensive day by the numbers.