Late last night, Adam Schefter reported that Atlanta CB Desmond Trufant would need surgery to repair a torn pectoral. His season is over.
I’m not trying to revel in a man’s injury. I’m glad that it’s not anything career or performance threatening. He’ll be back, good as ever. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the Falcons as much as the next guy, but injuries are never something to cheer for. The thing is, this gives the Saints a much better shot at the playoffs.
As it stands, the Saints will virtually need to win out, and the Falcons will likely need to drop a few games, New Orleans to take the division. The chances of them making a wildcard spot are actually smaller than taking the NFC South.
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The biggest obstacle on the path to winning out was the Week 17 matchup with the Falcons. That’s not to say that the other games are sure things. Detroit is a very dangerous team, and the Cardinals have talent despite their disappointing season. But besides that, the Rams and the Buccaneers are two very beatable teams.
It’s hard to overstate how important Trufant was to the Falcons defense. He’s far and away the best player on that unit. He’s a true lockdown corner, one of the best in the league, and he allowed Dan Quin to get creative with his playcalls.
Yes, the Falcons have an easy schedule ahead of them. And yes, they do still have possibly the best offense in the league. But outside of an injury to Matt Ryan, there’s nothing that could derail their chances at the playoffs so dramatically.
If the Saints can capitalize on the opportunity (obviously, a big IF), and if the Falcons start to bleed points, we may very well be looking at a playoff team in New Orleans.