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14 ESPN pundits put their heads together- their consensus opinion for the Falcons?


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FIRST in the NFCS!!!

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Here's Claytons take:

John

Clayton

ESPN.com

DIVISION FINISH: 1 I predict the Falcons could make the Super Bowl in the next three years. This could be the year if coach Mike Smith successfully replaced five starters on defense. Matt Ryan is the next quarterback superstar. The pressure is off him because of a running attack that eats up 35 carries a game. Adding Tony Gonzalez to the offense should make Ryan golden in the red zone.

Looks like we're going to have to get used to being the frontrunner.

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Ok this is strange. Just a few weeks ago. Pat Yahwahtever said that we were going to finish 3rd. Now on this list he has us 1st.

He admitted that his first list was arbitrary and he wouldn't put out his real prediction until he saw all of the NFCS teams up-close in training camp and preseason.

Pat has had a better look at all four teams than any other pundit out there. Preseason rankings don't mean **** (we were 32nd in a few last year), but if there is any list I care to be first on, it's his.

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How about John Clayton going way out on a limb and saying the Falcons could make the Super Bowl in the next 3 years. Very bold John.

None of this means anything. Yes the Falcons are going to kick azz this year, but not because these clowns say so.

No, but its much better than last years projections, and shows the progress the franchise has made. I also like that so many of the experts picked Atlanta.

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How about John Clayton going way out on a limb and saying the Falcons could make the Super Bowl in the next 3 years. Very bold John.

None of this means anything. Yes the Falcons are going to kick azz this year, but not because these clowns say so.

I don't think its going out on a limb to say that.

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No, but its much better than last years projections, and shows the progress the franchise has made. I also like that so many of the experts picked Atlanta.

Why? Last year the same guys predicted the Falcons would win 2 games. Thier predictions aren't validation of any kind.

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I don't think its going out on a limb to say that.

UM,yeah, I was being sarcastic. The Falcons are legitimate Super Bowl contenders this year, and anybody should be able to see that, so to say "I think the Falcons could be in the Super Bowl in the next three years", well, that's like me saying, "I think Beyonce might be hot."

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Why? Last year the same guys predicted the Falcons would win 2 games. Thier predictions aren't validation of any kind.

You can't blame the media for what they projected last year. I agree that their predictions don't mean much and definitely don't validate much except for maybe the newfound respect for our team on all accounts but they weren't completely off basis when they made that prediction last year. How could you expect a team with a new GM, new coaching staff, rookie QB, rookie MLB, and inexperience all around to have such a ridiculous turnaround?

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You can't blame the media for what they projected last year. I agree that their predictions don't mean much and definitely don't validate much except for maybe the newfound respect for our team on all accounts but they weren't completely off basis when they made that prediction last year. How could you expect a team with a new GM, new coaching staff, rookie QB, rookie MLB, and inexperience all around to have such a ridiculous turnaround?

It's not that the predictions don't mean much. It's that they don't mean anything. At all. These guys are just journalist who have much less knowledge of the team than us fans (with a very few exeptions) because they are covering all 32 teams in the league and we are just following one. Thier opinions mean even less than ours.

It makes me feel neither good nor bad that these guys are on the bandwagon. If Matt Ryan is healthy, this team is going to roll, whether the bandwagon is full or not.

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Seth

Wickersham

ESPN The Magazine

DIVISION FINISH: 1 With Matt Ryan and John Abraham, the Falcons are too talented and too hardworking -- watch how Tony Gonzalez improves the intensity level at practice -- not to repeat as South champs.

------

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of their opinions that apparently some of them don't know who won the division last year...

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It's not that the predictions don't mean much. It's that they don't mean anything. At all. These guys are just journalist who have much less knowledge of the team than us fans (with a very few exeptions) because they are covering all 32 teams in the league and we are just following one. Thier opinions mean even less than ours.

It makes me feel neither good nor bad that these guys are on the bandwagon. If Matt Ryan is healthy, this team is going to roll, whether the bandwagon is full or not.

I agree that it doesn't mean anything. What you forget is that these guys have much more access to hear-say in the league. Remember, these are the guys that you are essentially getting your information from. They are the ones that speak to coaches and then you come on here and discuss either for or against a topic based on what they are reporting.

Them being on the bandwagon doesn't say much but who else are they bandwagon'ing? The Colts? Patriots? That's some good company my friend. It's a good thing when people are reporting back as saying the Falcons are one of the toughest games for teams this year. When the Falcons are reported as one of the toughest matchups for the Patriots this year, it's not just based on their random selection. It's based on what they are hearing from players and coaches.

I'd like for us to fly under the radar too but it won't happen. We have a loaded roster and everyone knows it.

Also, your take that you know more than them because you only follow one team is a little baseless because that includes a lot of homerism that these reporters don't necessarily have. You will absolutely be biased because it's your team that you support. I do the same. We might have more knowledge of our full roster and know every single guy down to the practice squad but these guys have been reporting for a while. I agree with you to an extent, just not fully.

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I agree that it doesn't mean anything. What you forget is that these guys have much more access to hear-say in the league. Remember, these are the guys that you are essentially getting your information from. They are the ones that speak to coaches and then you come on here and discuss either for or against a topic based on what they are reporting.

Them being on the bandwagon doesn't say much but who else are they bandwagon'ing? The Colts? Patriots? That's some good company my friend. It's a good thing when people are reporting back as saying the Falcons are one of the toughest games for teams this year. When the Falcons are reported as one of the toughest matchups for the Patriots this year, it's not just based on their random selection. It's based on what they are hearing from players and coaches.

I'd like for us to fly under the radar too but it won't happen. We have a loaded roster and everyone knows it.

Also, your take that you know more than them because you only follow one team is a little baseless because that includes a lot of homerism that these reporters don't necessarily have. You will absolutely be biased because it's your team that you support. I do the same. We might have more knowledge of our full roster and know every single guy down to the practice squad but these guys have been reporting for a while. I agree with you to an extent, just not fully.

You missed my main point. These guys don't even watch the games.

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The Falcons were a legit SB contender last year. If Kasay misses that kick at NO, the Falcons could have easily been in the Super Bowl.

I don't know how you define easily, but we would have had a better chance to go. That being said, for the nonbelievers who don't think our defense won't be a worse wart this year, you'll see. I just pray we win this weekend, because if we lose, it's no lock we win 2 straight in weeks 2 and 3.

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