Jump to content

Good read


Gnorts
 Share

Recommended Posts

Full article here:

http://www.bleacherreport.com/articles/263...eview-NFC-South

Atlanta Falcons

'07 Record: 4-12Points Scored: 259 (29th)Points Allowed: 414 (29th)

Playoff Result: No Playoffs

2008 Strength of Schedule:120-136 (.469) (20th (t) in NFL)

Strengths: The Falcons are a team that is in complete rebuilding mode. When Michael Vick pleaded guilty to federal dog fighting charges, the face of their franchise was stripped from them. Bobby Petrino was in his first year coaching and was not able to handle the transition from the college game to the pro game with that bombshell.

The result was a 3-10 record before he resigned. Former Jacksonville defensive coordinator Mike Smith has been entrusted to get this franchise back on track.

The Falcons had a number of good parts last season. Roddy White broke out in his third season for 83 catches, 1,202 yards, and six touchdowns. Considering his quarterback cast, it was a very productive year. Jerious Norwood looked impressive at times, and has a lot of big play potential. He had 103 carries for 603 yards and one rushing touchdown, while adding 277 receiving yards.

Even though Warrick Dunn has returned to Tampa Bay, Norwood will not be the number one guy in 2008. Michael Turner was the prized free agent the Falcons signed in free agency. After backing up LaDainian Tomlinson for four seasons, it is his time to be the number one guy. The two will form a very good running back duo.

The defense was not very good in 2007, but a few players did stand out. John Abraham was able to tally 10 sacks. Keith Brooking is still a very under-appreciated linebacker. Chris Houston is a young cornerback that the Falcons hope will develop into a starter now that Hall is a Raider.

Jason Elam was a big signing on special teams. Morton Anderson was reliable, but not from long range. Elam will give them bette production on long field goals and the kickoff game. He is a clutch kicker with the game on the line and could help the Falcons steal a couple close games.

Weaknesses: The Falcons really bottomed out last season. They ranked 29th in both scoring offense and defense. They were 23rd in offensive yards gained, and 29th in defensive yards allowed. While they had some players that gave good individual contributions, it didn t result in a good showing for the team.

I really believe that Bobby Petrino was a large part of the problem. He did not connect well with his players and obviously did not want to be there. His fights with Hall were well documented. I thought his exit to Arkansas the night after a tough Monday Night loss was gutless. Mike Smith should be a much better hire and is much more disciplined. He should be able to take this team forward.

Matt Ryan was a huge draft pick. He gives the Falcons fans something to hope for. Michael Vick did give the Falcons a lot of good years and his legal problems should not diminish that. However, the Falcons have to move on and Matt Ryan has the potential to be the franchise quarterback the Falcons need now more than ever.

It will be interesting to see if they throw him in the fire now or wait until 2009. My guess is that Chris Redman or Joey Harrington could start the season and that by the middle of the year, Ryan will be the number one guy. However, I could also see where the Falcons throw the youngster into the fire on day one.

Ryan is signed, so he will be at training camp on day one. This won't be a JaMarcus Russell situation from last year where the Raiders had not choice but to sit the September arrival most of the season. How Ryan does in training camp will go a long way to determining his opening day status. Either way, it is going to hamper the Falcons from joining the top passing offenses in 2008. This is a rebuilding year and the Falcons must accept that.

The Falcons improved their offensive line by drafting Sam Baker in the first round. He should help the Falcons continue to upgrade the offensive line. hey also added Harry Douglas to give their QBs another target on offense.On defense they added Curtis Lofton to upgrade their linebacker corp. In the secondary they added Chevis Jaskson and Thomas DeCoud. The Falcons are trying to retool a defense that had ranked in the middle of the NFL over the three seasons prior to 2007. The first round was geared to offense, with some of their other picks going to upgrade the defense.

Prediction: I like what the Falcons did this off-season. I thought Matt Ryan was a solid pick. I like the Michael Turner signing. I like that they brought in Jason Elam. The division is not very strong and they have an easy schedule based on last year s results. That said it is very hard to win in this league with a rookie quarterback. Even if Harrington or Redman starts the season neither has proven they can win week in and week out in the NFL.

The key for the Falcons will be a fast start. They get Detroit, Tampa, Kansas City, and Carolina to open the season. The rest of the schedule is a mix of easier teams like Oakland, and tougher teams like Green Bay and Philadelphia. They have some tough games at the end of November and beginning of December, which include San Diego, at New Orleans, Tampa, and at Minnesota.

All in all, I look for the Falcons to be a more competitive team and not be outscored by over nine points per game. That probably won't show much in the win column, but it will make for better football in Atlanta. However, I don t see where they will get much more than five wins in 2008. That doesn t mean they aren t on the right track. It means it takes time to rebuild a franchise. If they can develop their young talent and have another good off-season in 2009 they may be able to start thinking about competing for a playoff spot.

Atlanta s Record: 5-11 NFC South fourth Place; No Playoffs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Josh Affonso (6/1/2008)
Good read, thanks for posting. Personally I believe that we will amass more wins then this writer thinks we will, but that is a matter of faith and opinion.
I do too. We actually have a kicker to rely on in the beginning part of the season. Those were the games where we could have won two more games.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the better reads in a long time, thanks for posting.

I honestly think we can do better than the proposed record there but I also believe that we have to keep our hopes down for now until we see how the new systems being deployed here materialize on the field.  Will we be able to put more points on the board?  I think we can and we will as the running game is being addressed for the first time in quite a while.  I also believe we have some good WRs in White now that he's turned things around and Robinson looks to be coming along nicely.  WR3 is being addressed as well as the OL.

Will the Defense be improved?  I don't think we'll see a big improvement there yet, but I think once the players get comfortable in the new system, we'll start benefitting in the Wins column.  I think we'll be a tad better vs the run this year but I also believe we still have work to do with the DBs (CB and SS/FS positions) and hopefully someone will step up that will take some of the pressure off of the DL and vice versa. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

uup115 (6/1/2008)
haven't we been trying to develop a QB since 2001? it gets real old seeing major cap money being blown on a hope and a prayer.

Yeah, it really sucks when you have someone you've been trying to develop for over five years does something really stupid and sets the franchise back that amount of time plus the amount of time it takes to get someone developed back into that role again. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VTCrunkler (6/1/2008)
good post, but i think well have 6 wins

i agree with it being a good post, esp on the rebuilding concepts..... hoping for 6 or more wins but will be happy with a cultural change in rebuilding from the ground up!!

i like what i have seen from TD and looking forward to seeing what the new coaching staff can get done with the current roster, our attitude will show a lot!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is refreshing to read a draft and future prospects analysis where the author actually seems to have done his own research and came to some conclusions on his own.  This is in contrast to some "sports writers" who seem to be failed comedy writers, apparently would have difficulty locating <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Atlanta on a map, and obviously personally know next to nothing about the Falcons.  All these guys do is simply plagiarize each other while spending most of their efforts kissing the buttocks of the current marquee teams.

<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

I'm not quite as pessimistic about the Falcons chances in 2008 as Derek Lofland, the apparent writer of the Bleachers Report piece.  Not that I would bet my next-year's paycheck that the Falcons make the playoffs at the end of 2008, but with a bit of good fortune it's doable.  Heck, that the 2007 Falcons won even four games with all the turmoils that were tearing the team apart should be evidence that the Falcons could well surprise people this season.  Everyone connected with the Falcons will this season have something to prove.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agreed with everything except the last sentence.

The NFL is a league of mistakes........penalties..........and injuries.

ANY team can come out of the pack of mediocrity..........face it, MOST of the league is mediocre...........and win their Division, against all odds. It takes alot to do this but............is it possible for the Falcons in 2008 ??

****  YES  !!!!!!!!

With all the POSITIVE changes we have made since January, I would never count the Falcons out. ANYTHING  IS  POSSIBLE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very good and encouraging article. Someone who actually did his own research and came up with an analysis of his own, instead of the same ol "Vick fights dogs, Petrino quit on the team, Hall is a distraction, Bakers arms are too short, should have drafted Dorsey, so the Falcons will never win another game for the next 100 years".

5-11 is realistic, but I feel if we can win 4 off of last years mess, we can win 6+ this season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

foreveriloveatlanta (6/2/2008)
I just liked reading a column that actually complimented us throughout most of it.  It's hard to argue that we're not on the right track.  I would liked to have seen the writer go into a little more depth in his analysis, but I agreed with almost everything he said.  Thanks for posting it. 

seems like most fans want the foulcons to get a pat on the back in times when they dont deserve it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...