The National Football League (NFL) is home to thirty-two teams that play in six divisions in two conferences. Each team always has the same goal. It is to reach the postseason and, hopefully, play in the Championship Game – the Super Bowl.
The Indianapolis Colts and the Atlanta Falcons were among an elite group of teams projected to have a legitimate chance to advance deeply into this year’s playoffs. The Falcons, a team that currently finds itself in second place in the South Division in the National Football Conference (NFC) with a Won-Loss record of 6-3, actually began this season with a long winning streak.
In fact, Atlanta won its first six games and appeared to be living up to the pre-season hype that had it listed as a potential Super Bowl participant. But, even when the team from “the gateway city to the South” was racking up wins, it was not playing at a very high level.
In truth, the Falcons had to score late to emerge victorious in several games, something it was able to do during its 6-0 start to the season. But teams that seem to be relying on luck or good fortune to win often find that “luck can change.” Atlanta has lost its last three games to jeopardize what once looked like it would be a great season. Those losses came in games that the Falcons were winning early in the season. Clearly, “the worm has turned” for this squad.
The Indianapolis Colts, a team that plays in the South Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) were expected to compete for a chance to represent their conference in the league’s championship game. The squad’s young and very talented franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck, was entering his third year as a professional when this season began in September.
Surprisingly, Luck played poorly in Game One and continued to play below his skill level throughout the first half of the season. The Colts have managed to lead their division despite Luck’s indifferent performances and even though their Won-Loss record is 4-5. But now Luck has been injured and is unlikely to be available when the Colts take the field against Atlanta this Sunday.
The Falcons who are led by Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman, after losing three straight games, have a Won-Loss record of 6-3 and find themselves three full games behind the undefeated Carolina Panthers in the South Division of the National Football Conference (NFC). First place seems to be out of reach.
However, Atlanta is still very much alive for a Wild Card and a chance to play in January. It seems logical to expect them to play hard for four quarters because “Atlanta desperately needs to win.”
And while it is true that Indianapolis is in first place in its division, the team has not played well. And without the services of Andrew Luck, the Colts, if they continue to perform poorly, could find themselves headed to an early winter vacation.
This game features two squads that need to win on Sunday and in the games hat follow in the weeks ahead. Desperation often leads to inspired play on the gridiron. The game between Indianapolis and Atlanta should be fun to watch.
Courtesy of Getrealfootball.com