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What A Difference The Season Makes


New Hope Eagle
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prior to the pre season many experts were picking the falcons to be anywhere from 6-10 to 10-6 but missing playoffs due to what the perceived as a tough upcoming schedule.

we never play the NFC East well and had a tough division schedule. NO won easily and the panthers were projected to grow by leaps and bounds due to Scam's play. many thought the bucs collapse was a fluke and teams like denver and SD always starts fast. Not to mention KC is really tough at home. Arizona finshed on fire and started this year the same way. Detroit appeared to tune the corner and made playoffs, and expected to do better this year.

I also recall many on these very boards saying the falcons were around an 8-8 team on average.

So here is my breakdown based on the avg expert.

Division Record Expected

NFC South 3-2 2-4

NFC East 4-0 1-3

AFC West 4-0 2-2

ariz, det 2-0 1-1

All of these projections were based on the past and how we have fared on national TV and how we have played against these teams and how these teams were also projected

to be better than they were last year.

Beat Den, Dallas, NO and DET. Thats 4-0 in games we have traditionally lost.

as you can see we far exceeded what many thought would be our season but now, because these teams have been major disappointments, we have a week shedule.

Maybe its weak because 13 NFL teams have 1 less win and 1 more loss because of the birds.

This team is a brand new breed of bird.

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Amazing what two new coordinators who know what they're doing can do. The offense is vastly less predictable and has an edge to it that has been lacking thanks to Koetter and the defense has changed from VanGorder's 'bend and break' schemes to Nolan's 'bend but don't break' schemes. The best part of it is that since there are so few noteworthy players potentially hitting free agency this team can get much, much better in the offseason.

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Amazing what two new coordinators who know what they're doing can do. The offense is vastly less predictable and has an edge to it that has been lacking thanks to Koetter and the defense has changed from VanGorder's 'bend and break' schemes to Nolan's 'bend but don't break' schemes. The best part of it is that since there are so few noteworthy players potentially hitting free agency this team can get much, much better in the offseason.

With all due respect to the vast improvement that Nolan and Koetter represent over previous coordinators Laurel & Hardy, I have to give more credit to Matt Ryan than anybody else at FB for the team's success this year.

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I agree about the perceived schedule before the season begin. Going into the season most of the pundits and fans were saying that the Falcons along with Broncos would have a brutal schedule, and now they said that the two teams have the easiest schedule. Well at the beginning of the season this was what the Falcons were looking at:

NO x 2 - Dangerous team due to their offense

Car x 2 - Many people have them as a dark horse SB team

TB x 2 - Load of good FA pick up that should make them competitive

Chief - On the road against what most people expected to win their division

Den - Could be a tough home game if Manning was healthy

SD - On the road against a talented QB

Dallas - Load of talents

NY Giants - SB champ pedigree

Philly - On the road after their bye where Reid was 13-0

Lions - On the road against a playoff team last year

Of those 13 games the Falcons might have been favored in 3-5 of them, mostly due to being at home. The only supposed cupcakes were Oak, Ariz, and maybe Was due to rookie QB. That was not an easy schedule if you look at it going into the season. Just because the Falcons exceeded expectation and other teams they played didn't shouldn't take anything away from their accomplishment, and to hear people keep bringing up the strength of schedule make me sick. They played the teams that were on their your schedule. They didn't pick and chose who they played.

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the weird away-home-away-home schedule worried me that it'd be hard to get into a rhythm, especially with trips out West adding to the travel.

but no way in hayul did i have the Falcons worse than 9-7. i expected 10-6/11-5, with a good shot at winning the South.

13-2 with HFA already sewn up was not in my expectations.

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With all due respect to the vast improvement that Nolan and Koetter represent over previous coordinators Laurel & Hardy, I have to give more credit to Matt Ryan than anybody else at FB for the team's success this year.

The combination of Ryan realizing the flaw in his game and working to improve it (deep ball accuracy and strength/endurance) to go along with Koetter's more aggressive schemes has help the offense tremendously. If Mularkey was still here we'd still be trying to rely on a declining Turner, the deep game would be greatly diminished compared to what it is, and there would be no screen game to help neutralize the pass rush. It's a combination that came at exactly the right time to propel this team.

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thats what I mean. Falcons picked to go to playoffs 5 out of 9 picks, div champ 2 times and only one NFC champ game but lose.

avg place in NFC is between 4th and 5th.

Same group picked NO to win div 5 picks, playoffs 7 picks, most said they would respond to the diversity and brees leadership

I guess this is why they play the game

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