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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly - Week 0


RichardCNile
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We've reached that place where as the earth rotates around the Sun, the nights get a bit cooler, the shadows start to inch out longer, hurricanes are forming, giant spider webs appear overnight and of course, football season is here.  

I always love the start of football season. It reminds me of younger days, two-a-day practices and of course Friday night lights.  But as Falcon fans, many years have gone past where at this time of year, we knew we probably didn't stand a chance of winning it all.  The years we did make it to the SB 1998 and 2016, I don't think there were many (if any) who made an honest prediction or bet that "this is the year" for the Falcons to make it to the SB.  I went to every home game the 1998 season and even midway into the season, the Dome was almost empty and I could still by scalper tix in the parking lot for less than face value.  

In 2016, a year after we started out 6-0 or 8-0 only to falter and lose almost the same down the stretch, I can honestly say I didn't see us making it to the SB. We were actually struggling to make it to the playoffs around mid season.  We had lost in horrible fashion to KC (fake punt and 2pt attempt INT/return) and a few other teams.  I had the pleasure of attending both playoff games that year and while I felt we could beat Seattle, I was very worried about the Packers and certainly did not see us dominating like we did.  

Every season has it's Good, It's Bad and It's Ugly, but 2019 seems different. 

 

The Good:

We corrected problems and didn't take any half-measures.  2 FA O-Linemen, 2 first round draft picks for O-Line.  We corrected the mistake that was Sark at OC and what seemed like inexperience at DC and tenure at STC which showed up on film to other STC resulting in fake punts and blocked kicks against us.  Our new STC seems very discipline minded, we know our OC and we know our DC.  We added Depth and experience to our D-Line, got key players re-signed and made it through pre-season with no serious injuries to key players.  We got Matt Bryant back in the house and just upgraded our Full Back (which was desperately needed).  

I think our Running game will be much improved through a combination of upgraded O-Line & FB, healthy Freeman and jumbo packages on 3rd and short and goal line.  

The Bad:

Oddly I'm concerned about our passing game, at least in the first 3-5 games.  It may take our rookie O-Linemen some time to get things dialed in at the NFL level and it may take the passing Offense a few games to get the timing dialed in.  It looks easy when it's working, but the fact is, it's hard to make timing routes work when a Defense is doing everything they can to disrupt that timing. When you consider most catches in the NFL are just a few feet if not inches from being an interception or incompletion, there is cause for concern.  If there is a learning curve here, hopefully our run game can hide it and compensate accordingly.  

The Ugly:

The ugly is the unknown.  How good will Minny and Philly be this year?  Will our o-line perform as advertised?  Can Oliver hold up at CB?  Can our Falcons come out every week with a win at all costs mindset with no 'let downs?'  The Schedule is a gauntlet  We play several top NFC teams in the first 8 weeks including Minny, Philly, Seahawks and Rams. Then the second 8 games include all 6 divisional games.  

 

I predict that our O-Line will perform as advertised and we will crush some MF's this year.  We win the Division (5-1) by sweeping NO and Panthers and splitting with TB.  We get a second seed in the NFC playoffs.  

 

 

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, RichardCNile said:

I predict that our O-Line will perform as advertised and we will crush some MF's this year.  We win the Division (5-1) by sweeping NO and Panthers and splitting with TB.  We get a second seed in the NFC playoffs.  

Good perspective.  But, this last part puzzled me.  I know we are all guessing, but I see us sweeping TB, and splitting with NO and Carolina.

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1 hour ago, NaGaBoy said:

Good perspective.  But, this last part puzzled me.  I know we are all guessing, but I see us sweeping TB, and splitting with NO and Carolina.

Ya that could also happen.  I went with 5-1 in the division and splitting with TB because we have overall had Carolina's number under DQ and NO is always a battle. I think DQ and the team will have something extra planned for those games to get the wins, but then we get a trap game against TB and have a let down one week and they steal one from us.  But like you said... who knows.  

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I like it. 5-1 in the division would be nice. I disagree on the passing game, only because Koetter has been here before and we saw him hit the ground running. Now with an older Matt and more diverse passing attack, I don't think it will take 3-5 games. Maybe the first two will be ugly because it's MIN and PHI, but I'm expecting them to be rolling in short order. The running game is where I'm more concerned about the slow start and the changes gelling. 

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