The Atlanta Falcons lead the NFL with an 8-0 record—but at least according to some statistical measure only rank 9th in the league. Nevertheless, the team's undefeated streak has fans wondering if the Falcons can sustain this winning ways.
“I don’t think anyone looks at the Falcons now as a juggernaut,” Mark Bradley, a columnist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, told Bill Littlefield on this week's Only A Game. “A charitable description of them would be that they’ve been a solid team that continues to get good play out of its quarterback and its wide receivers and continues to win a lot of close games.”
In a recent column, Bradley suggested the Falcons were not as good as their record indicates.
“They haven’t really played a team that would be considered a brand name. They’re going play one on Sunday in New Orleans. The trouble with that is the Saints have a losing record. I think a lot of people are looking at the Falcons as the team that does what it needs to do, but doesn't necessarily leave anyone thinking that they’re invincible. It’s hard to be taken lightly when you’re undefeated halfway through a season.”
Bradley said he didn’t think the Falcons would get over-confident, even if their record continued down this track.
“The thing they’ve had to live with these past four years has been that they’ve been to the playoffs three times and lost the first game there every time. We’ve never seen a Falcons team 8-0. But a lot of people who’ve gotten used to the Falcons tripping themselves at the last hurdle are of the inclination that it would be just their nature to get into the playoffs at 16-0 or 15-1 and then lose the first game.”
And the likelihood of seeing a 16-0 Falcons team in another six weeks? Slim.
“I don’t think anybody really seriously thinks the Falcons are going to go 16-0. Now, that could happen. Stranger things have happened, I suppose, but not many stranger.”
This segment aired on November 10, 2012.