Matt Ryan: Falcons still 'relevant' despite 'quirky' year

The headline alone is good for a laugh.

To see the words, "First-place Falcons not getting ahead of themselves," all together -- especially when we're talking about a 4-6 team -- makes us feel like we're reading something in The Onion.

Alas, this is just the NFC South.

"It's been a different year, for sure," Matt Ryan said, via "But you play to be relevant in November and December. And as quirky as this year has been, we're relevant. And we've got to keep going."

At the moment, head coach Mike Smith could not be luckier. The way the season was breaking before, it appeared as though a large-scale regime change was coming.

But Smith, who is likely the best coach in franchise history, now has a second life thanks to the underachieving Saints and Panthers.

Though the level of play is not enticing -- Atlanta rode its star player, Matt Bryant, to a 19-17 win over Carolina on Sunday -- the NFC South will provide the best divisional race down the stretch.

But don't worry, the Falcons won't let all this success go to their heads.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Sunday game from an action-packed Week 11. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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