But now it looks like the Falcons are set up to have the best record in the NFC, and secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a big plate of cupcakes sitting before them.
Atlanta’s average opponent for the rest of the season has a negative FPI (minus-2.8) and is projected to win just 6.9 games, roughly the equivalent of the Washington Redskins (minus-3.3 FPI, 5.9 projected wins as of September 29). That’s a half game lower than the next easiest schedule, currently enjoyed by the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Falcons’ remaining schedule is almost a full projected win easier than any of the current undefeated teams before the 4 p.m. games kicked off on Sunday.
That gives them a little more room for error as we conclude the season’s first quarter.
But it’s not as if the Falcons need it: they pummeled the Texans and appear to be firing on all cylinders.
Atlanta’s defense recovered three fumbles, ran two in for touchdowns and also picked off a pass.
On offense, running back Devonta Freeman had another huge game, becoming the first player this season to rush for over 50 yards plus add more than 80 yards receiving — and he did it in the first half.
He would also find the end zone three times and produce 149 yards form scrimmage.
Falcons RB Devonta Freeman is the first player with 3+ rushing TD's in consecutive games since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 (Weeks 10-11).— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 4, 2015
And we haven’t even mentioned quarterback Matt Ryan and the league’s best receiver, Julio Jones.
The NFC South was a joke last year, but this year it looks like it will produce the NFC’s best.