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Predictions For The 2015 Atlanta Falcons


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NFL: Predictions For the 2015 Atlanta Falcons

Tamer AbourasMORE

August 17, 2015

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The Falcons, as a team, are as annoying as one of WR Roddy Whites nagging injuries; just when things appear to be going fine for this otherwise solid squad, something derails them and knocks them off course. Whether thats in pursuit of a Super Bowl berth, as in 2012, or just in an effort to make the playoffs like last year, the Falcons always seem to have their wings clipped just as they begin to pick up speed.

Indeed, in spite of their collective injury history, this team simply boasts too many skilled players at skill positions, no less to have won only 10 games combined in the past two seasons. As a result of those struggles, Head Coach Mike Smith is gone and in his place has come Dan Quinn.

This should necessarily mean a much-needed emphasis on defense, but what these birds might need most of all is just a clean bill of health, because when they arent in the training room, White and running mate WR Julio Jones might well be the best 1-2 receiving combination this side of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.

And for all the criticism of his ability to perform in the playoffs, QB Matt Ryan is anything but Andy Dalton. Hes been the best thing about this team during its forgettable fall from grace and positions the Falcons, more than virtually any of the other down on their luck franchises in the game, as a likely candidate for a rebound and a return to contention sooner rather than later.

Additions and Subtractions

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IN: (via the draft) DE/OLB Vic Beasley, CB Jalen Collins, RB Tevin Coleman, WR Justin Hardy, DT Grady Jarrett, OT Jake Rodgers, DB Akeem King.

(via free agency and trades) WR Leonard Hankerson, TE Tony Moeaki, TE Jacob Tamme, OT Tyler Polumbus, G Chris Chester, G Mike Person, DE Adrian Clayborn, DE OBrien Schofield, OLB Brooks Reed, OLB Justin Durant, CB Phillip Adams.

OUT: RB Steven Jackson, RB Jacquizz Rodgers, WR Harry Douglas, TE Bear Pascoe, OT Sam Baker, G Justin Blalock, G Gabe Carimi, DT Corey Peters, OLB Sean Weatherspoon, OLB Prince Shembo, CB Robert McClain, CB Josh Wilson, S Dwight Lowery.

The obvious takeaway here is that the Falcons arent your typical team with a bad record. They have an established franchise quarterback, two stud receivers, and a very solid offensive line that only saw Ryan get sacked 31 times last year. The shuffling they made to that unit notwithstanding, the Falcons figure to protect well again this year.

They also registered 8th and 5th rankings in total offense and passing offense, respectively, while the chief weakness has been (and probably remains) the rushing attack. Running for 1498 yards (good for 24th), Atlanta has waved goodbye 924 of those with the departures of Stephen Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers. In their places step up second-year back Devonta Freeman and third-round pick Tevin Coleman. While no one is asking Atlantas backs to carry the load as though theyre the Seahawks, they need to get enough from that unit to keep defenses honest and free up their prolific passing attack.

And speaking of that passing offense, the Falcons will continue their attempt to replace the retired Tony Gonzalez with Jacob Tamme. Of note: the team saw its receiving yards by tight ends drop from 914 to 241 between 2013 and 2014 (the first year sans Gonzalez). Ouch. So in spite of being pretty one-dimensional on the side of the field thats their calling card, Atlanta still put up really solid offensive numbers. On defense, however, its another story. The Falcons were dead last against the pass and overall, and came in just 21st against the run.

Outside of CBs Jalen Collins and Philip Adams, they did precious little to address those pass defense maladies. In what should otherwise be a great year for the team to rebound, the pass defense still could weigh them down. On the other hand, thats nothing new and their secondary didnt keep them from reaching 13-3 and the NFC Championship Game just three seasons ago.

Atlanta did address its woeful pass rush, which ranked second to last with just 22 sacks last season, in bringing in DE/OLB Vic Beasley, DE Adrian Clayborn, DE OBrien Schofield, OLB Brooks Reed, and OLB Justin Durant. Those players could ostensibly help the secondary by putting more heat on opposing quarterbacks, something the Falcons seldom did last year.

Outlook

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The Falcons, with the exception of their moribund defense, were better than their 6-10 record last year. Or rather, their offense was their defense was actually worse than that. Assuming a new defensive-minded head coach can come in and clean things up, though, theres little reason why the team couldnt return to contention.

They have the weakest strength of schedule in the entire NFL and play in a division where Carolina is the default favorite, not the overwhelming one. They have Dallas, Indianapolis, two games against the Panthers, and a full slate of games against also-ran teams such as Tampa (twice), Washington, Tennessee, San Francisco, Jacksonville, and a two against a sliding New Orleans team.

By our estimation, thats two daunting tests and a lot of very winnable games. Matty Ice, Julio Jones, and Roddy White have been waiting awhile, but provided they can avoid the injury bug and improve a bit on defense, the Falcons might turn this city into Hotlanta once again by the time winter rolls around.

Prediction: Were stepping way out on this one 10-6 and the NFC South

http://www.cheatsheet.com/sports/nfl-predictions-for-the-2015-atlanta-falcons.html/?a=viewall

Edited by ChessPlayer1
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Not that I am an expert, but I see this:

Eagles: Win

Giants: Loss

Dallas: Loss

Board is in meltdown mode. Mods have to hide their children from the mob.

Texans: Win

Washington: Win

Saints: Win

Board goes into "we will win the Super Bowl" Mode. Mods come out of hiding

Ten: Win

Tampa: Loss

Some members are put on suicide watch

49'ers: Win

BYE WEEK: The trolls come out as we are 6-3. Trolls dont like winning records

Colts: Loss

Oh boy...dem trolls again

Vikes: Loss

6-5 record...weeping and gnashing of teeth has begun.

Bucs: Win (hooray for revenge!)

Panthers: Loss

Jags: Win

Panthers: Win

Saints: Win

10-6. I picked the vikes loss because I think they might be a little more of a contender, and I picked a bucs loss because they seem to play us close even in down years. The Colts are regular season champs. The NFC East is tough, especially when they are at home. I don't see it going well in Dallas or NY.

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Not that I am an expert, but I see this:

Eagles: Win

Giants: Loss

Dallas: Loss

Board is in meltdown mode. Mods have to hide their children from the mob.

Texans: Win

Washington: Win

Saints: Win

Board goes into "we will win the Super Bowl" Mode. Mods come out of hiding

Ten: Win

Tampa: Loss

Some members are put on suicide watch

49'ers: Win

BYE WEEK: The trolls come out as we are 6-3. Trolls dont like winning records

Colts: Loss

Oh boy...dem trolls again

Vikes: Loss

6-5 record...weeping and gnashing of teeth has begun.

Bucs: Win (hooray for revenge!)

Panthers: Loss

Jags: Win

Panthers: Win

Saints: Win

10-6. I picked the vikes loss because I think they might be a little more of a contender, and I picked a bucs loss because they seem to play us close even in down years. The Colts are regular season champs. The NFC East is tough, especially when they are at home. I don't see it going well in Dallas or NY.

As it happens, there are no experts at that, but there are plenty will take the other approach and insist that they are experts when they lay out their game by game expectations, only to reveal that they are anything but as the season unfolds.

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Not that I am an expert, but I see this:

Eagles: Win

Giants: Loss

Dallas: Loss

Board is in meltdown mode. Mods have to hide their children from the mob.

Texans: Win

Washington: Win

Saints: Win

Board goes into "we will win the Super Bowl" Mode. Mods come out of hiding

Ten: Win

Tampa: Loss

Some members are put on suicide watch

49'ers: Win

BYE WEEK: The trolls come out as we are 6-3. Trolls dont like winning records

Colts: Loss

Oh boy...dem trolls again

Vikes: Loss

6-5 record...weeping and gnashing of teeth has begun.

Bucs: Win (hooray for revenge!)

Panthers: Loss

Jags: Win

Panthers: Win

Saints: Win

10-6. I picked the vikes loss because I think they might be a little more of a contender, and I picked a bucs loss because they seem to play us close even in down years. The Colts are regular season champs. The NFC East is tough, especially when they are at home. I don't see it going well in Dallas or NY.

I dont see us losing to winston

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The Falcons will beat the Jags in the Superbowl by the score will be 13-2!

I hope Wilkerson and Richardson are playing together this week.

Wilkerson is hurt(Ham) and Richardson has been demoted to 2 string since his arrest.

Hawley and Co lucked out this week.

Add My BPA Williams,

who we should have traded up for,

my God,

MR might make it.

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Not that I am an expert, but I see this:

Eagles: Win

Giants: Loss

Dallas: Loss

Board is in meltdown mode. Mods have to hide their children from the mob.

Texans: Win

Washington: Win

Saints: Win

Board goes into "we will win the Super Bowl" Mode. Mods come out of hiding

Ten: Win

Tampa: Loss

Some members are put on suicide watch

49'ers: Win

BYE WEEK: The trolls come out as we are 6-3. Trolls dont like winning records

Colts: Loss

Oh boy...dem trolls again

Vikes: Loss

6-5 record...weeping and gnashing of teeth has begun.

Bucs: Win (hooray for revenge!)

Panthers: Loss

Jags: Win

Panthers: Win

Saints: Win

10-6. I picked the vikes loss because I think they might be a little more of a contender, and I picked a bucs loss because they seem to play us close even in down years. The Colts are regular season champs. The NFC East is tough, especially when they are at home. I don't see it going well in Dallas or NY.

only two things I disagree with here, flip the first two games, and we'll sweep the bucs

11-5

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not really. They kinda remind me of the falcons in being very underrated

Yeah, people are sleeping on the Giants a little bit. I could see them winning the East, especially since everyone seems to be crowning the Cowboys already.

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People here are underestimating the Panthers. Has anyone forgotten the whipping they put on the Falcons?

I agree the Panthers are going to present the Falcons with their toughest test(s) in the division. Not saying the Saints couldn't manage at least a split and we could even drop a game to the Bucs, just because division games are so unpredictable. But the Panthers proved they were capable of grinding us into the turf last game of the season, so we're the team with something to prove in these upcoming games. They're division champs.

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