How to watch Cowboys vs Falcons live stream,Time, TV, radio, weather, latest injury news. Atlanta Falcons coaches, players, staf The broadcast on ESPN and NFL Network will be identical, while ABC will have its own distinctive broadcast for the first two days
Follow The Atlanta Falcons are one of the wild card teams heading into the 2020 season -- it's nearly impossible to predict which Falcons team we're going to get. Atlanta was one of the worst teams in the NFL in the first half of last season with a 1-7 record. After owner Arthur Blank said head coach Dan Quinn would keep his job, the Falcons rallied around their head coach and went 6-2 in the second half, finishing with a 7-9 record.
However, Atlanta missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year and finished under .500 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2013 and 2014. In Dan Quinn's five seasons at the helm, he's only had an over .500 record twice and missed the playoffs three times. Quinn was on the "hot seat" last season, but he earned himself another chance in 2020. D. Orlando Ledbetter, who covers the Falcons for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, knows it's time for Atlanta to return to the playoffs in order for Quinn to keep his job.
Joining guest-host John Breech on the Pick Six Podcast Thursday (listen below and subscribe here for daily NFL goodness), Ledbetter gave the prerequisites Quinn needs to keep his job past 2020.
"I think he's got to return to the playoffs," Ledbetter said. "He's coming off two 7-9 seasons. Went to the Super Bowl, blew that, got back to the playoffs and was on the one-yard line at Philly as the favorite and couldn't punch it in -- and Philly goes on to win the Super Bowl. Ever since then things have taken a downward turn in Atlanta.
"In 2018 there were a lot of injuries and last year they just didn't put it back together, 1-7 (to start) and then 6-2. So yea he's clearly on the hot seat. He's got to return to the playoffs in the newer, tougher NFC South that has Tom Brady down in Tampa now."
The Falcons' path to the playoffs will be a challenge, even with seven teams from the NFC now qualifying for the postseason tournament. Playing against the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice a year will already be difficult, but the Falcons will also be playing the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and the AFC West in 2020.
There isn't much leeway with finishing 8-8, and even that might not be enough.
"I don't think he'll be returning at 8-8, unless it's one of the 8-8's where you get one of the new wild card spots -- but even that might not be enough to save it. They need to get in and make a run," Ledbetter said. "There's a lot of stock in that 6-2 end. A lot of those, two of them were against Kyle Allen and the Panthers. They did go out and beat the 49ers on a last-second play out there and they did go down and beat the Saints. Those are two pretty big wins.
"I don't know if stuff carries over like that. There's too many variables...they got to carry it over and they got a tougher schedule. It's not a real rosy outlook for the Falcons right now."
The only way Quinn keeps his job at this point is to make the playoffs convincingly. An NFC South title would certainly help.