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Falcons dubbed ‘most stable' franchise in NFL


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https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2018/2/8/16989146/nfl-stability-index

Never heard of this "stability index" before...but what say you?  I guess it makes sense from a high level...don't know if I agree with it but it makes for interesting discussion.

1. Atlanta Falcons
If this feels underwhelming, that’s because, well, it is underwhelming—but the Falcons’ place atop these rankings hints at the current state of tumult across the league. In three years at the helm, head coach Dan Quinn has proved to be a savvy game planner (see: the team’s wild-card win over the Rams) and capable leader, and is in no danger of losing his job. Both coordinators will return (a rarity this year), the schemes and language therein remain unchanged, and both sides of the ball are packed with talent—with few major holes to patch. There’s plenty of hand-wringing in Atlanta about the decision to retain offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, but a drop-off from the team’s offensive explosion under Kyle Shanahan in 2016 was completely predictable (plus, they weren’t as bad as you might think from an efficiency point of view, finishing ninth in offensive DVOA). This isn’t the sexy top pick, but it’s hard to find a team that checks more stability boxes.

2. New Orleans Saints
The only reason the Saints aren’t no. 1 on this list is because of one small, technical detail: Drew Brees is a free agent. However, it’s all but a lock that Brees returns to New Orleans in 2018 and plays under Sean Payton’s guidance for the 12th time in the past 13 years. That kind of head coach–quarterback relationship is practically unheard of outside New England, Pittsburgh, or Green Bay, and sets the Saints up to hit the ground running: Brees still has his top-tier outside threat Michael Thomas, his elite offensive line, running back Mark Ingram, and Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara. On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Dennis Allen returns for his fourth year on the job, and retains most of the key players on his top-tier defense.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers boast plenty of stability in the form of returning head coach Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken, defensive coordinator Mike Smith, quarterback Jameis Winston, and offensive stars Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. But that stability is tenuous: Tampa Bay underachieved on both sides of the ball in 2017, so Koetter heads into next season with one of the warmest seats in the league. If he can’t quickly right the ship, a coaching staff reboot may be in order.

15. Carolina Panthers
Quarterback Cam Newton was erratic as a passer for most of last season, the team fired offensive coordinator Mike Shula and lost defensive coordinator Steve Wilks to the Cardinals’ head-coach job, and the franchise is up for sale. But under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, much of the language and play design should remain the same, making for what should be a relatively smooth transition, and another year in the system should pay dividends for both running back Christian McCaffrey and receiver Devin Funchess. Plus, this club can still lean on its always dependable defense, anchored by linebacker Luke Kuechly and defensive tackle Kawann Short.

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For those not wanting to click and wondering what this stability index measures...

This Stability Index is focused primarily on the transition from the 2017 season to 2018 and beyond. This competition does not include the number of division titles, playoff games, or Super Bowls any of these teams have won over the past five or 10 years, it weighs factors that matter most right now: continuity in the front office and the coaching staff, security at the quarterback position, a core nucleus of stars, established schemes, a strong culture, and an identity. Stability is fleeting, but for the most steady teams, we know what we can expect—and for the other end of the spectrum, it’s a total crapshoot. Here’s a list of all 32 teams, ranked from most to least stable heading into next season.

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1 hour ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Kinda surprised Carolina isnt further down the list....

One GM ousted, interim GM placed on leave, ownership situation up in the air. 

I mean, Cam and Rivera aside, thats about as unstable as it gets. 

Me too, I see them potentially turning into a hot mess if they get off to a slow start next season.

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For 2018 in the NFC South, it's going to go like this, mark my word. 

Battle for 1st and 2nd: Falcons and Buccaneers

3rd: Saints

4th: Panthers


Given the history the last several years. The Panthers have never had back to back winning seasons and they don't ever play well during even numbered seasons. They got lucky in 2014 because of a historically weak NFC South. The Saints only play well during odd numbered seasons so the even numbered years aren't for them either, however, I wouldn't be surprised if they finish 2nd in the NFC South though. They won the NFC South in 2006 playing the AFC North (again, that AFC North rotation between NFC South teams in 2002, 2006, 2010, & 2014), and in 2010 and 2014 the Saints still finished 2nd in the NFC South playing the AFC North as well. However, since the NFC South has always been a back & forth division since 2002, it's coming down to the Falcons or Buccaneers in 2018 mark my word. In 2016 the Falcons and Buccaneers topped the division, while the Saints and Panthers were last. Then looked what happened in 2017 in an odd numbered year when we played the AFC East again. While the Falcons still made the playoffs, we were still 3rd in the NFC South behind the Panthers and Saints. The Buccaneers could easily go from worst to first, you never know. They have the talent to do so and it's only a matter of time. They were 9-7 in 2016 and they lost a lot of close games going 5-11 this past season. I pray that it's our Falcons though in a year the Super Bowl will be in Atlanta. 

Edited by mqg96
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I like to think stability = success going forward, but...you never know.

When 5 of the 6 NFC playoff teams were not in the playoffs last season, it makes me wonder just how important 'stability' is, and whether that transfers to more success.

Having said that, with the Falcons being the one team that did repeat its playoff appearance, maybe there is something to be said for stability, and most importantly maybe we'll see results next time around. 

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Here's some stats I've noticed about the Falcons since Matt Ryan has been around.

#1: He's only had 2 losing seasons his whole career and that was before Mike Smith had to go.

#2: The even numbered seasons have always gone in the Falcons favor except for 2014 when Mike Smith got fired (even throughout our history).

#3: Since 2008, the Falcons have made the playoffs every year the Eagles in Philly (Matt's hometown) were on our schedule, and we've gotten closer and closer to a Super Bowl victory from the wildcard loss in Arizona to the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, and the Eagles in Philly are on our schedule again in 2018. 

#4: He's never finished last in the NFC South. 

#5: Throughout 2017 our defense has been one year away from Dan Quinn making it almost 2013 Seattle like or even 2000 Ravens like. Just improve in turnover margin and stopping the run more consistently then we could have a special team next season.

#6: We swept the NFC East in 2012 and 2015, and we are playing them again in 2018. 

#7: The Super Bowl is in Atlanta come February 2019, so everything is set up for us if we take advantage of the window we have right now. 

 

No, I'm not trying to JINX the team. I'm bringing up realistic stats that have been for real since Matt Ryan has been our QB. As long as we still have Matty Ice and we could potentially have a #1 defense next season. Oh boy. I have every right to get excited. 

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Are we then too stable?

Imagine the possible upcoming changes -

1) Bryant or Bosher retire/let go

2) Matthews is replaced after next year

3) Sarkisian is fired midseason

4) Beasley is not resigned next year

5) Freeman suffers a career-ending concussion

6) Tevin is traded during the draft or signs elsewhere

7) Derrick Coleman is replaced by another FB (draft or FA)

8) Schweitzer and Levitre or both are replaced during FA or the draft

9) Ricardo is given a great offer elsewhere, we go with Kazee as his replacement

10) Poe is let go (replacement?)

11) Clayborn retires

12) Reed is given a great deal elsewhere

13) We give up on Hooper and find another TE

14) Andre Roberts is replaced by a young college guy

15) Gabriel goes elsewhere and we go with a draft pick replacement

16) Jarrett holds out of camp wanting big contract after seeing Poe's contract

17) Trufant becomes a real liability and has to be replaced

18) Julio follows Calvin's path and retires before 30

19) Ryan starts to show age early and retires in a few years during his new contract

20) Blank gives up on football in favor of soccer, sells the Falcons

Edited by jlrfalcon
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1 hour ago, octoslash said:

I like to think stability = success going forward, but...you never know.

When 5 of the 6 NFC playoff teams were not in the playoffs last season, it makes me wonder just how important 'stability' is, and whether that transfers to more success.

Having said that, with the Falcons being the one team that did repeat its playoff appearance, maybe there is something to be said for stability, and most importantly maybe we'll see results next time around. 

Not to mention the ONLY team in the Playoffs that held Phillys offense in check.

 

They more than doubled their points against Minn and NE.

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5 minutes ago, jlrfalcon said:

Are we then too stable?

Imagine the possible upcoming changes -

1) Bryant or Bosher retire/let go

2) Matthews is replaced after next year

3) Sarkisian is fired midseason

4) Beasley is not resigned next year

5) Freeman suffers a career-ending concussion

6) Tevin is traded during the draft or signs elsewhere

7) Derrick Coleman is replaced by another FB (draft or FA)

8) Schweitzer and Levitre or both are replaced during FA or the draft

9) Ricardo is given a great offer elsewhere, we go with Kazee as his replacement

10) Poe is let go (replacement?)

11) Clayborn retires

12) Reed is given a great deal elsewhere

13) We give up on Hooper and find another TE

14) Andre Roberts is replaced by a young college guy

15) Gabriel goes elsewhere and we go with a draft pick replacement

16) Jarrett holds out of camp wanting big contract after seeing Poe's contract

17) Trufant becomes a real liability and has to be replaced

18) Julio follows Calvin's path and retires before 30

19) Ryan starts to show age early and retires in a few years during his new contract

20) Blank gives up on football in favor of soccer, sells the Falcons

Only 20 depressing thoughts? You can do better than that, there are million different possibilities. 

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The Atlanta Falcons are in a good position heading into the 2018 season. According to The Ringer, the Falcons are the “most stable” franchise in the NFL. However, Danny Kelly of The Ringer, describes the Falcons high ranking as a product of the rest of the league’s turmoil.

“If this feels underwhelming, that’s because, well, it is underwhelming—but the Falcons’ place atop these rankings hints at the current state of tumult across the league,” Kelly wrote. “This isn’t the sexy top pick, but it’s hard to find a team that checks more stability boxes.”

Since Dan Quinn took over as the Falcons head coach in 2015, he has complied a regular season record of 29-19, lead the team to three playoff wins, a Super Bowl and produced an MVP. Not many coaches can claim those qualities. Quinn is no where close to losing his job.

Both coordinators will be back in 2018. Another year for Matt Ryan under Steve Sarkisian should help the offense recover from a down year. Plus, Marquand Manuel’s young and improved defense will return most of its starters. 

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