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Falcons struggle through first month of season

7:47 PM, Sep 30, 2013   |    comments
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Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank on the sidelines in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at the Georgia Dome. The Patriots won 30-23. Photo: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA -- This is not exactly how the Atlanta Falcons thought the first month of the season would play out. 

After falling to the New England Patriots on Sunday night, the Falcons are currently looking at a 1-3 overall record. 

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To make matters worse, the New Orleans Saints now have a strong hold on the NFC South standings thanks to their undefeated record, as of Monday night, with one of those victories coming against the Falcons. 

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Since 1990, teams that start off 1-3 have made the playoffs just about 14 percent of the time, with just 0.6 percent of those teams winning the Super Bowl. 

Their struggles have not necessarily come on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Matt Ryan has averaged 316 passing yards per game, which is good enough for fifth in the league. 

As a whole, the Falcons' offensive unit is averaging just under 400 total yards and 23 points per game, which is ranked seventh in the league.

The defense is another story, however. Opposing teams are averaging 26 points per game and 393 total yards, which is 26th best in the league. The Falcons have also committed 24 penalties for 216 yards on defense. 

Atlanta's schedule has not been the easiest the first month of the season either. Three of the teams the Falcons have played, Miami, New Orleans and New England are undefeated as of Monday evening. 

That schedule should get easier over the course of the next five weeks. None of the Falcons' next four opponents, New York Jets, Tampa Bay, Arizona and Carolina have a winning record. In fact, those four teams, as of Monday, have a combined record of 5-10. 

So what do you think? Based off of what you have seen so far, do you believe the Falcons will make the playoffs this year? Take our poll:

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