The Atlanta Falcons have not rolled over for anyone, and won’t for the Cleveland Browns.
While the Atlanta Falcons are clearly in a rebuilding season, they are playing good football. They may just be 1-2 on the young season but they could very easily be 3-0. They nearly defeated the Saints to start the year and had a near-comeback for the ages against the Rams. This is not a cakewalk squad.
They’re not statistically good, which is the curious thing. They’re among the worst offenses in the league and among the worst defenses in the league, yet this is a team that took two potential playoff teams to their limits.
The Cleveland Browns have not played perfect football, but they’ve played mistake-free football offensively, which is part of the reason they’ve been able to lock down a 2-1 record. Yet, the Browns don’t put teams away. It nearly cost them Week 1 against Carolina, and it did cost them Week 2 against the Jets. Week 3 was a much more controlled game for the Browns against the Steelers, but Pittsburgh still made it far more competitive than it should’ve been without their best player.
The Browns should have rolled all three teams they’ve faced so far, and instead, thanks to some luck (and those Carlina refs), they’re 2-1. They are not a team that is good enough to dismiss anyone, including a bunch of dirty birds like the Atlanta Falcon.
The Atlanta Falcons are going to be a tough out for any squad this year
Punching the Super Bowl champions in the face, like the Falcons did, should put the entire NFL on blast that this team is not going to just go away. Marcus Mariota isn’t a great quarterback, but he can score enough touchdowns for the team to make things interesting. On the year he has five touchdowns, three passing, and two rushings, and has proven to be a threat with his legs.
With Myles Garrett potentially out due to his car accident on Monday, and the team not really being known for its relentless pass rush already, the Falcons could see Mariota go off against a dinged-up and dysfunctional defense.
I wouldn’t expect a Falcons win, however, the Browns have the best running back in the league, and if they gave him more carries, who knows what Nick Chubb’s stats could look like. The Browns don’t want to obviously overuse him, look what happened to Derrick Henry, but as long as Chubb is chopping his feet and Jacoby Brissett plays mistake-free football, the Browns should control the game.
That said, the Browns have made some very bad offenses look very good this year, and that could pose problems for the Browns.