[2017 NFL Preview] Atlanta Falcons

The 2017 NFL Preview rolls along with a look at the ATLANTA FALCONS!

The Falcons are the third team I’ve done so far this year and they are also the third team that has had a bird as a mascot.

I swear it’s not a coincidence people. I’m doing this in alphabetical order. It’s just how it works out.

SO HOW GOOD WILL THE FALCONS BE THIS YEAR? THEY WERE BASICALLY JUST ONE QUARTER AWAY FROM WINNING THEIR FIRST SUPER BOWL LAST YEAR. CAN THEY REPEAT THE MAGIC?

LEZ FIND OUT!!!!!!

 

 

 

2017 NFL Preview

 

 

 

 

Record Last Five Seasons: 13-3 (2012), 4-12 (2013), 6-10 (2014), 8-8 (2015), 11-5 (2016)

Last Playoff Win: 2016 NFC Championship vs. Green Bay

Last Playoff Appearance: Super Bowl LI vs. New England

Super Bowl Wins: None

Last Super Bowl Appearance: Super Bowl LI vs. New England

 

The Head Coach:

Dan Quinn

Coaching Record: 19-13

Playoff Record: 2-1

Grade: B+

 

2016-17 Team Leaders:

Passing Yards/Touchdowns: Matt Ryan (4,944), Matt Ryan (38)

Rushing Yards/Touchdowns: Devonta Freeman (1,079), Devonta Freeman (11)

Receiving Yards/Touchdowns: Julio Jones (1,409), Julio Jones/Taylor Gabriel (6)

Tackles: Deion Jones (108)

Interceptions: Deion Jones (3)

 

2017 Projected Starters:

Grade Key:

  • ELITE
  • GREAT
  • GOOD
  • NOT GOOD
  • ROOKIE
  • HORRIBLE

Offense:

QB: Matt Ryan

RB: Devonta Freeman

FB: Derrick Coleman

WR: Julio Jones

WR: Mohamed Sanu

TE: Austin Hooper

LT: Jake Matthews

RT: Ryan Schraeder

RG: Wes Schweitzer

LG: Andy Levitre

OC: Alex Mack

Defense:

DE: Adrian Clayborn

DE: Takk McKinley

DT: Grady Jarrett

DT: Dontari Poe

LB: Deion Jones

LB: Duke Riley

LB: Vic Beasley

CB: Desmond Trufant

CB: Robert Alford

FS: Ricardo Allen

SS: Keanu Neal

 

The Schedule:

vs. @ Chicago Bears (September 10)

vs. Green Bay Packers (September 17)

vs. @ Detroit Lions (September 24)

vs. Buffalo Bills (October 1)

BYE WEEK

vs. Miami Dolphins (October 15)

vs. @ New England Patriots (October 22)

vs. @ New York Jets (October 29)

vs. @ Carolina Panthers (November 5)

vs. Dallas Cowboys (November 12)

vs. @ Seattle Seahawks (November 20)

vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (November 26)

vs. Minnesota Vikings (December 3)

vs. New Orleans Saints (December 7)

vs. @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (December 18)

vs. @ New Orleans Saints (December 24)

vs. Carolina Panthers (December 31)

 

Three Things I Like About The Falcons This Season:

-The Roster: Outside of the fullback position, the Falcons roster is pretty damn solid from head-to-toe. While the defense lacks any elite players, they don’t really have much of a weakness anywhere, especially if rookies Takk McKinley and Duke Riley are able to contribute in a big way. The offense is one of the NFL’s best and likely will be once again this season.

-The Beginning Of The Schedule: I really like how Atlanta starts out the season schedule-wise. I would be shocked if the Falcons went into week 7 against the New England Patriots and it wasn’t a match-up of undefeated teams. Two undefeated teams in a Super Bowl rematch? Ya, the talking heads are going to be all over that one.

-Matt Ryan: This shouldn’t come as a shocker to anyone, but NFL teams usually have really good success when you get really good play out of the QB position. Last year, Matt Ryan was arguably the best QB in the league and it will be interesting to see what he can do for an encore. He is loaded with weapons and a little more stability should help produce even better results. At least, that’s what we think should happen……

 

Three Things I Hate About The Falcons This Season:

-The Super Bowl Hangover: It’s real folks. You would think that a team that just played in the Super Bowl and lost would be fully prepared and ready to get back to the big game and try to win it again, but unfortunately it rarely happens in the NFL. As a matter of fact, not only do some Super Bowl losers fail to make the playoffs the following year, but some teams go on losing streaks FOR YEARS and have their franchises turn to ruins. Just ask the Oakland Raiders. Can the Falcons avoid the dreaded Super Bowl hangover curse?

-November: After the Falcons play New England in New England (a loss) in late-October, they get a bye week against the Jets and then the fun starts. Atlanta has to go to @ Carolina (I have it as a loss), home against Dallas (I have it as a loss), then @ Seattle (I have it as a loss), and then a home game against Tampa Bay on a short week (I have it as a win, but it could be a swing game). That’s a brutal run for a team that could likely use a bye week by the time it all ends.

-Early Bye Week: I’m not a fan of early bye weeks myself. I prefer my favorite team to have a bye sometime in November, that way the playoff picture is a little clearer and certain adjustments can be made. Maybe I’m alone here, but something tells me the Falcons would likely much rather have a bye week around November 20th than in early October?

 

The Prediction:

10-6

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