Matt Ryan: We’re right in the mix, I believe best football’s in front of us

The Falcons haven’t played any meaningful games in December over the last three seasons, but that will change this season.

Sunday’s 21-14 win over the Jaguars bumped the Falcons up to 5-6 and it leaves them as part of a big group of teams bidding for Wild Card spots in the NFC as we enter the final month of 2021. That seemed an unlikely place for the team to be when they were 0-2 or after back-to-back blowout losses in their last two games, but head coach Arthur Smith stressed looking at “the big picture” of being in the playoff mix.

Quarterback Matt Ryan embraced that view of where the team is with November coming to an end.

“It’s all you can ask for,” Ryan said, via the team’s website. “If you tell me in the beginning of the year that we’re right in the mix in December, that’s where you want to be. I think our best football is still in front of us. We’re going to get there. But, with six games to go and we’re right in the mix, with December starting next week, sign me up. I’m ready for that. It’s going to be a fun couple of weeks.”

The Falcons haven’t beaten a team that currently has a winning record and that will almost certainly need to change if they are going to remain in the mix throughout December. They have a chance to get such a win at home against the Buccaneers next Sunday and doing so would make for a few more believers in the Falcons’ ability to stick around the playoff race to the end.