Time for the Atlanta Falcons in our series of team-by-team mailbags:
Jeff in Charleston, S.C., writes: Hey Pat, seeing who the Falcons have lost to: 1. Patriots (6-2) 2. Dallas (6-2) 3. Saints (8-0) -- All leading their divisions and all of these losses on the road, despite the merciless ignorance on the part of our schedule makers, the Falcons were in positions to win all of these games. Still, certain pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together for this team. They seem to be making strides and gelling in different areas weekly. When every piece comes together and plays up to its potential, this is a very dangerous team. Thoughts?
Pat Yasinskas: I might agree with you, but I want to see what happens Sunday against Carolina first. If the Falcons win there and keep showing some of the positives that have surfaced recently, they could be a strong playoff contender. I think it’s extremely encouraging that Michael Turner has gotten back to last year’s form in recent weeks. If he continues to play like that, it’s going to have a great impact on the rest of the team. I also think the secondary situation might be improving. Tye Hill took a long time to get into the lineup, but he had an interception last week and could provide a boost to the secondary.
Ryan in Gwinnett, Ga., writes: Hey Pat! Hope all is well. Have you had time to see the highlights of Tye Hills' interception? Do you think the Falcons would ever consider him at kick returner or punt returner? He's very fast and could give the special teams the spark they need heading into the playoffs! Let me know what you think.
Pat Yasinskas: I agree that Hill is very fast and athletic. But slow down for a second on the return idea. The Falcons took a of couple months to get Hill to the point where they felt comfortable putting him on the field as a cornerback. He’s just getting settled in there and doesn’t need his life to get any more complicated right now. Maybe next year.