Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 10/28/12
By: Rich Bergeron The Atlanta Falcons (7-0) are for real this season, rattling off seven straight wins to remain the only undefeated team left in the NFL going into November. The New England Patriots flirted with the chance to cap a perfect season with a Super Bowl win a few years ago and saw their hopes dashed in just seconds by Eli Manning's New York Giants offense. To avoid the same fate, the Falcons will have to weather a perfect storm of competition and keep up their current momentum until the final whistle of the season. Matt "Matty Ice" Ryan (182-265, 2018 yards, 17 TDs) is a huge part of this team's offensive dynamic, and he's driving his team closer to perfection with each perfectly-timed throw.  Having a one-two punch of phenomenal receivers in Roddy White (40 catches, 591 yards, 4 TDs) and Julio Jones (35 catches, 499 yards, 5 TDs) makes his job much easier every Sunday. Both receivers are averaging more than 14 yards per catch. Michael Turner takes the heat off the passing game by carrying a 3.8-yard rushing average into November on 108 runs. His 415 yards of total rushing may not turn many heads, but Turner doesn't have to go out of his way to set any running records when Ryan is throwing so well. Ryan made Veteran Quarterback Michael Vick (a former Falcon to add insult to injury) look like a rookie this past week in Atlanta's 30-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Falcons' Quarterback threw for 71 more yards and two more touchdowns than Vick did, only missing on 7 attempts. Running Back Jacquizz Rodgers ripped off 60 yards on just eight carries to earn a 7.5-yards-per-rush average for the contest, eclipsing Turner's 58 yards on 24 carries. Rodgers is enjoying his second year as a professional out of Oregon State, and the Falcons will benefit from this being a real breakout year for him. The team's defense is also fairly solid, and the squad is ranked 7th in the NFL in the points-against category (18.6). Relying on a bend-but-don't break mentality, the Falcons defense helped the team squeak out four of their seven wins by a touchdown or less. Getting to the playoffs with their unbeaten streak intact will take an incredible effort and ideal conditions for the Falcons over the course of their remaining schedule. They have three straight battles ahead with teams they could struggle against with Dallas, New Orleans, and Arizona set as opponents for the first three weeks of November. Should they get to the ninth of December without a loss they will face the Carolina Panthers in an away game after beating them in week four by just two points. Clearing that hurdle will be impressive, but then the real test comes to town. Eli Manning and his New York Giants may represent the best chance to put a blemish on the Falcons' regular season record if the Falcons can keep notching wins until that week 15 clash.  Odds favor the Falcons eventually slipping up and dropping a game before the first snap of the playoffs. Still, looking ahead it certainly looks possible for them to push the envelope and achieve a miraculous finish to a surprising season. Getting to the Super Bowl will still be possible if they lose a game or two down the stretch, but going undefeated through the playoffs is the real requirement to acquiring a Super Bowl ring. The perfect season might just be the icing on the cake, but it's hard not to picture the Falcons contending for those rings next February. It's a great season to be a Falcons fan. var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
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