I'm only going to start to worry about this team if they lose this week to Tampa Bay, simply becasue at this point I don't expect them to beat the Saints.
And if we get into a 2-game skid, things are going to start getting bleak for the final month of the season.
Assume TB loses @DEN in Week 13, and NO loses to SF this week, then the NFC South standings would then look like this:
1. Atlanta - 9-3 (1-3 div)
2. Tampa Bay - 7-5 (3-1 div)
3. New Orleans - 6-6 (3-1 div)
And then we have @CAR, NYG, @DET, and TB for the final 4, while the Bucs are basically 1 game back with PHI, @NO, STL, then @ATL. Saints close with @NYG, TB, @DAL, and CAR.
If TB is truly riding a hot streak, it potentially could come down to the season finale where that game could decide the division if we went 1-2 and they won out? Or maybe NO beats them, but they win out? And you get into a situation where you have to beat TB in Week 17 or NO is about to steal the division.
Now one theory is that such an occurrence could be a good thing for the Falcons. Having them be in a position in Week 16 or 17 where they're talking about resting starters is EVEN MORE DIRE.
And it goes back to the comparisons I've made several times with the '08 Cardinals. They sort of backed into the playoffs. Week 16 they got crushed in the snow by the Patriots by 40 points. Then they played a 4-11 Seahawks team in the season finale, Warner put in work and went 19 of 30 for 263 yds, 4 TDs, and 1 INT in 3 qtrs, up 27-14 before they put in Leinart against the Seahawks to finish the thing out. Fitz had 5-130-2 and that was sort of the spark they needed to have Warner and Fitz lighting things up in the playoffs.
If the Falcons are going into that Week 17 game 13-2 and sort just dog it. Then I guarantee you they will be 1 and done.