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Is Falcons NFL Schedule About to Go Soft?

The Falcons simply must, starting Sunday, overcome the mush ... because the schedule says that later, they're gonna get smushed.

The New York Giants.

The New York Jets.

A Bye week.

The Miami Dolphins.

The Atlanta Falcons are 0-2 and are therefore in no position to take anyone lightly. Indeed, even the mention of the word "soft'' conjures up pot-calling-kettle-black thoughts, because new coach Arthur Smith's start to the 2021 NFL season has been ... mush.

The Week 1 performance in a loss to a mediocre Eagles team was poor. The Week 2 effort on a loss to a superior Bucs team was better, but in the end it became a 23-point blowout.

But, if Atlanta is to "get well soon''? Atlanta better know that "soon'' is now.

Here. comes Falcons Week 3, and it features a Giants team that is 0-2.

Then comes a Week 4 meeting with the 1-1 Washington Football Team, a game that on paper is something less than "winnable.'' (Which is why we didn't mention it in the "Softy Row'' above.)

Then comes the other New York team, a perennial sad-sack with a predictable 0-2 record. ... though the game is in London, making "predictable'' more difficult.

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Then comes a bye - and all the inevitable jokes about how, "at least Atlanta won't lose this week!''

And then it's the Dolphins, who are 1-1 and broken in many ways.

We have played the "winnable'' game in this space before, but doing so now requires some faith in a Falcons team that simply has not earned it. It is incumbent on the Falcons themselves, however, to believe.

To believe they are better than the Giants in New York at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

To believe they are better than the Jets.

To believe they are better than the Dolphins.

To believe they are better than being the butt of bye-week jokes.

And then there is this, regarding simply fighting to some level of 2021 respectability: Following this "soft'' portion of the slate come games against a Panthers team that is 3-0, a Saints team that is almost always a contender, a Cowboys team with a loaded (offensive) roster and a Patriots team with unmatchable playoff pedigree.

The Falcons simply must, starting Sunday, overcome the mush ... because the schedule says that later, they're gonna get smushed.

READ MORE: 2 Key Falcons Out for Sunday