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paulitik
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Falcons will fly higher

So, you're looking for a non-playoff team that's going to jump into the playoffs.

I'll do you one better.

I'll give you a non-playoff team that's going to go all the way to the NFC Championship game, barring a major injury.

The Atlanta Falcons.

I appreciate that I'm not exactly sticking my neck out by saying the Falcons will make the playoffs this year. After all, it's not as if they went 3-13 and just overhauled their entire offensive line. No, the Falcons went 9-7 last year, which would have put them in the playoffs many years. In fact, they had the identical record as most prognosticators' preseason darlings, the Jets. It's just that 9-7 wasn't good enough in the NFC in a year when the Cowboys, Eagles, Saints, Cardinals, Vikings and Packers all won 11 or more.

This is the year that Matt Ryan becomes an elite quarterback. He may not be the next Peyton Manning, but he will probably get a heck of a lot closer than most current quarterbacks, including the other progrosticators' darling, the Jets' Mark Sanchez. (Sorry for picking on the Jets, particularly as they've been my favorite team for 40 years, but they don't warrant the hype their getting. Last time I looked, the only reason they made the playoffs last year was because the Colts and Bengals laid down for them after both had clinched playoff spots.)

If the Michael Turner of 2008 shows up, instead of the overworked and injured 2009 version, and if Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez keep doing what they do, that's an offense you can easily picture in the Super Bowl.

The defense, well, let's just say it needs some improvement to get back to where it was in 2008. Curtis Lofton is already one of the best linebackers in the league. Picking up Dunta Robinson as a free agent may itself be the difference between making the playoffs and sitting home. He hasn't looked the same since his spectacular rookie season, but even if he never approaches that level again, he's a significant upgrade at corner.

The Falcons aren't going to win 14 games this season. But 10 or 11? Absolutely.

By Michael Kun | July 13, 2010; 8:56 AM ET

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Falcons will fly higher

So, you're looking for a non-playoff team that's going to jump into the playoffs.

I'll do you one better.

I'll give you a non-playoff team that's going to go all the way to the NFC Championship game, barring a major injury.

The Atlanta Falcons.

I appreciate that I'm not exactly sticking my neck out by saying the Falcons will make the playoffs this year. After all, it's not as if they went 3-13 and just overhauled their entire offensive line. No, the Falcons went 9-7 last year, which would have put them in the playoffs many years. In fact, they had the identical record as most prognosticators' preseason darlings, the Jets. It's just that 9-7 wasn't good enough in the NFC in a year when the Cowboys, Eagles, Saints, Cardinals, Vikings and Packers all won 11 or more.

This is the year that Matt Ryan becomes an elite quarterback. He may not be the next Peyton Manning, but he will probably get a heck of a lot closer than most current quarterbacks, including the other progrosticators' darling, the Jets' Mark Sanchez. (Sorry for picking on the Jets, particularly as they've been my favorite team for 40 years, but they don't warrant the hype their getting. Last time I looked, the only reason they made the playoffs last year was because the Colts and Bengals laid down for them after both had clinched playoff spots.)

If the Michael Turner of 2008 shows up, instead of the overworked and injured 2009 version, and if Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez keep doing what they do, that's an offense you can easily picture in the Super Bowl.

The defense, well, let's just say it needs some improvement to get back to where it was in 2008. Curtis Lofton is already one of the best linebackers in the league. Picking up Dunta Robinson as a free agent may itself be the difference between making the playoffs and sitting home. He hasn't looked the same since his spectacular rookie season, but even if he never approaches that level again, he's a significant upgrade at corner.

The Falcons aren't going to win 14 games this season. But 10 or 11? Absolutely.

By Michael Kun | July 13, 2010; 8:56 AM ET

Nice.

While the Jets have a good D, I do agree with him in that they only made the playoffs b/c the Colts rolled over. The Bengals did too, but the fact that they beat them the next week kind of says something to me.

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I agree, I can't remember the last time the Falcons got all this respect from the media like this. Lets just hope it doesn't go to our heads

Yeah, because for the last 14 years or so the cowboys fans I work with all bring in papers, and print articles off the internet talking about how they are picked to be the NFC favorites. Then I get to get the last laugh. Nothing I like more than the Cowboys failing.

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2005. There was quite a lot of hype surrounding the Falcons beginning that season.

^ This.

You beat me to it. Although I am excited to get the season started, I'm still tempering my enthusiasm so that I can observe our performance on a week-by-week basis. I have no reason to doubt the team, the players, the administration, or the momentum from last season. Unfortunately, I could have made the same statement after we wiped out against the Iggles in the NFFCG.

I do get the impression that we're now winning because we are a good team as opposed to winning because once our QB gets behind the DL, nobody can catch him. That's a big plus.

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^ This.

You beat me to it. Although I am excited to get the season started, I'm still tempering my enthusiasm so that I can observe our performance on a week-by-week basis. I have no reason to doubt the team, the players, the administration, or the momentum from last season. Unfortunately, I could have made the same statement after we wiped out against the Iggles in the NFFCG.

I do get the impression that we're now winning because we are a good team as opposed to winning because once our QB gets behind the DL, nobody can catch him. That's a big plus.

Agreed. That 2005 season was a tale of 2 halves.

Absolutley awesome the 1st 8 games.....tanked it harder than humanly possible the last 8 games. :angry:

That season is a likely reason why the media is so shy to prop up our Falcons, even with a new regieme in control.

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I like being under the radar better. All this preseason love is not good for a team's psyche, and it often seems to lead to a letdown.

Maybe the ghosts' of Falcons past it might of affected but I don't think that will have a whole lot of bearing with this current team. Smitty is in my opinion one of the most underrated motivational head coaches in the league today. And couple that with a locker room full of blue-collar, carry your lunch pail to work type players who will roll up their sleeves to get what needs to be done done will keep this team somewhat level-headed.

Besides most players don't look into much of the preseason hype that teams get. They know full well of what it takes to get it done.

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I agree, I can't remember the last time the Falcons got all this respect from the media like this. Lets just hope it doesn't go to our heads

Yeah we are getting some good and well deserved attention from the media, but I kind of hate when people say stuff like that. How often does the media get to a teams/players head, not very often especially if you have a good coach and the right people in the organization, and we have that in Mike Smith and TD. They bring in players that stay hungry and humble, and they will continue to search for those type of players. The only people that might let what the media says get to their heads is the fans, and how much impact will the fans have on the output of the game.

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