Well, so much for that undefeated season.
Either way, the Falcons host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11, in what the Falcons are hoping will be a game of redemption.
Matt Ryan, along with Atlanta's explosive offense, is looking to light up the scoreboard on Sunday to try to forget the embarrassing loss to the 4-5 Saints.
Speaking of being 4-5, the Cardinals are now officially below .500 this season after starting off 4-0. Currently riding a five-game slide, the Cards are looking to somehow right the ship against the 8-1 Falcons.
All I can say to Ken Whisenhunt and company is good luck.
Where: Georgia Dome
When: Sunday, October 18 at 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL.com
Betting Line: Atlanta (-10), according to Bovada
Arizona Injury Report (via Yahoo! as of Nov. 13, 2012)
|Greg Toler CB||Questionable||Hamstring|
|Adam Snyder G||Out||Quadriceps|
|Anthony Sherman RB||Probable||Knee|
|Kerry Rhodes S||Questionable||Back|
|Mike Leach TE||Probable||Back|
|Kevin Kolb QB||Out||Ribs|
|Todd Heap TE||Questionable||Knee|
|Jamell Fleming CB||Probable||Back|
|Jim Dray TE||Probable||Knee|
|Darnell Dockett DT||Probable||Hamstring|
|D'Anthony Batiste T||Probable||Toe|
Atlanta Injury Report (via Yahoo! as of Nov. 13, 2012)
|Jason Snelling RB||Probable||Illness|
|Asante Samuel CB||Probable||Hip|
|Harry Douglas WR||Probable||Ankle|
|Sam Baker T||Probable||Ankle|
|John Abraham DE||Probable||Elbow|
|Christopher Owens CB||Questionable||Heel|
|Robert McClain CB||Questionable||Hip|
|Peria Jerry DT||Questionable||Knee|
|Jonathan Babineaux DT||Questionable||Hamstring|
|Sean Weatherspoon LB||Out||Ankle|
|Charles Mitchell S||Out||Calf|
|Kevin Cone WR||Out||Groin|
What's At Stake?
Who would have thought that this game would have playoff implications for both sides when looking at the preseason schedule?
Nonetheless, The Cards are trying to claw their way back into the playoff race, and getting back to .500 would go a long way in that process.
At 4-5 they are currently one-and-a-half games back of the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks for the last wild-card spot in the NFC.
Arizona still has three of its six remaining games against divisional opponents, so it's not out. However, a loss on Sunday would essentially push the Cards out of playoff contention.
Atlanta, on the other hand, would be the No. 1 seed in the NFC if the season ended today, just one game ahead of the Chicago Bears. If the team improves to 9-1 it will move one step closer to the top seed in the playoffs and a first-round bye.
Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald
It's an obvious one, but Fitzgerald is really the only player on the Cardinals I would even consider starting this week.
Atlanta ranked No. 19 in the league in pass defense, and we know that Arizona is going to go down early and throw the ball often.
He's clearly the best player on this team, and if Fitzgerald can find his way into the end zone on Sunday he should reward you nicely.
Atlanta QB Matt Ryan
The Falcons are going to be angry on Sunday after losing to the Saints, and they are going to come out firing.
The only way to shut the critics up is to prove that they're the best, and that means we will be seeing Atlanta showcasing its incredible passing attack on Sunday.
Matty Ice is developing into an elite quarterback, and he will have all of his weapons at his disposal on Sunday. Roddy White, Julio Jones and the revitalized Tony Gonzalez will be too much for the Cardinals to handle (especially with safety Kerry Rhodes listed as questionable).
Look for Ryan to have a huge day on Sunday.
What They Are Saying
The lead-up to Sunday's game is taking a backseat to last Sunday when the Falcons lost to the Saints. Days after the game the two teams are still going at it, this time over whether or not the Falcons intentionally disrupted the Saints' pregame warm-up.
Falcons won't discuss warm-up talk - ESPN: Bleacher ReportFalcons won't discuss warm-up talkESPNBefore Sunday's ... bit.ly/Zn5u7v— NFL Fans (@NFLFanz) November 13, 2012
Also, the Falcons have released defensive end Ray Edwards in preparation for this week's game.
The Falcons have released defensive end Ray Edwards: atlfal.co.nz/W4rYpw— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) November 13, 2012
It will be interesting to see if Edwards is missed on Sunday.
Key Matchup: Falcons Pass Offense vs. Cardinals Secondary
Believe it or not, the Cardinals still have a great pass defense, ranking second in the league by allowing just 194.6 yards per game through the air.
However, with starting safety Kerry Rhodes potentially missing the game and the Falcons bringing the No. 4 pass attack in the league on Sunday, it will be interesting to see which side will win this vital battle.
The Cardinals have snagged nine interceptions this season, and will look to tack on a few more on Sunday. The biggest matchup on the field will likely be between Patrick Peterson and Roddy White.
The Falcons are angry after a loss and usually bounce back after losses under head coach Mike Smith. I see Atlanta wanting to punish the Cardinals, and it will do so on the field.
Falcons 31, Cardinals 17
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