Jump to content

PFF Expert: Atlanta Falcons Second Most Likely To Go Worst To First In 2021


Recommended Posts

Despite a disappointing stretch of losing seasons, new blood at HC/OC and DC has at least one expert predicting the Atlanta Falcons have a great chance to soar to the top of the NFC South Division again in 2021. PFF's Ben Linsey mentioned the Carolina Panthers, so I presume he means they are the top candidate to go worst to first. I don't agree.

This isn't a lengthy read. Linsey points out only Green Bay and Kansas City had more added expected points per play than did the Tennessee Titans under then-OC Arthur Smith. Nobody knows what the future holds, but my estimate of the Falcons' potential for next year is not far off this. We only have about 31 players on the roster, so there is a whole lot of addition and a few more subtractions before we know what the team will look like.

With AS and DP as OC and DC, we know the Falcons are going to play a lot more disciplined, aggressive, creative and physical. Those new points of emphasis should carry the team a substantial way toward that goal.

What are your thoughts? Is Linsey just playing Falcon fans, or does a strong Falcon turnaround actually make sense with all the coaching changes and new GM?

https://thefalconswire.usatoday.com/2021/02/11/falcons-nfl-atlanta-pro-football-focus-nfc-south/?utm_source=falconswire&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=pos1headline&ats=d285247f76cb0c68eec4ee0c83dd0c50fa5f2a20476b6c9e14d9ce1617a18605

Link to post
Share on other sites

I count 6 games that were winnable and we blew it. Horrible coaching and bad execution when it mattered. Cowboys, Bears, Lions, Chargers, first Bucs game and Chiefs. Our overall point differential was -1.1 which indicates very close games. 

The hope is coaching makes a difference this year and we've seen teams turn it around very quickly due to coaching but we also have to hit on the draft and free agency to compete for a playoff spot. We're not as far off as people think.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, The Don™ said:

I count 6 games that were winnable and we blew it. Horrible coaching and bad execution when it mattered. Cowboys, Bears, Lions, Chargers, first Bucs game and Chiefs. Our overall point differential was -1.1 which indicates very close games. 

The hope is coaching makes a difference this year and we've seen teams turn it around very quickly due to coaching but we also have to hit on the draft and free agency to compete for a playoff spot. We're not as far off as people think.

That's the icing on this already-incredibly positive off-season. If we nail the draft and TF finds some veterans to fit the schemes at bargain prices, we can be right back in the hunt. And with Smith, no more losing all these facking games where we were a prohibitive favorite.

Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, The Don™ said:

Our overall point differential was -1.1 which indicates very close games.

I tend to be very conservative when projecting future success.  But, your comment is indicative of a team that could quickly exceed expectations. 

Darn you The Don, now you have me thinking positive.  I need some negative news to settle back down.  You see what you did, right?

Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, TheHeartless said:

Not something that I expect to happen, but I don't rule it out either, the best case scenario just has to occur any other scenario in-between likely won't bring the stated result. 

I feel you. From the lack of responses to this post, it's obvious even with AS and DP, fans are still hung over from Quinn-Koetter PTSD, and probably covid contributing some depression, too. Expectations aren't exactly high.

But, there is that chance if everything goes right we could be competitive again. If not, at least we're off to a new start with new coaches and GM with a lot more potential upside. Better days are ahead, just a matter of how soon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Weren't the Falcons statistically the greatest 4-12 team in NFL history?  

Lol but seriously, losing 7 games by a combined something like 13 points, that's not a terrible team.  It's an undisciplined team that just couldn't finish games.  

They just had terrible coaching and terrible results.  

Teams turn it around quickly every year, maybe with these seemingly huge upgrades in the staff, we can finally get back to winning football.  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya know, I always hated the Koetter hire and I thought that surely even he couldn't screw up the offense with that crazy roster. Last season proved to me once and for all how coaching is the most important element of the game. 

Koetter just straight up ran the wrong scheme with our personnel. That's a big part of why they were terrible.

Now, we've got Arthur Smith and Dean Pees, two coaches who hang their hats on adaptability. This means the scheme will be made to work with our players, and that to me is a recipe for wins.

I expect the offense to make a dramatic turnaround. I think we will have a winning record this season. My biggest concern is if it's gonna be like 2015 again where we were still learning the offense so it wasn't as successful as the next season. Really curious about how long it takes to get used to the offense.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PokerSteve said:

I feel you. From the lack of responses to this post, it's obvious even with AS and DP, fans are still hung over from Quinn-Koetter PTSD, and probably covid contributing some depression, too. Expectations aren't exactly high.

But, there is that chance if everything goes right we could be competitive again. If not, at least we're off to a new start with new coaches and GM with a lot more potential upside. Better days are ahead, just a matter of how soon.

This is my take..better days are ahead...bringing it back to the true meaning of Being a Dirty Bird.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, ATLskinjob said:

Ya know, I always hated the Koetter hire and I thought that surely even he couldn't screw up the offense with that crazy roster. Last season proved to me once and for all how coaching is the most important element of the game. 

Koetter just straight up ran the wrong scheme with our personnel. That's a big part of why they were terrible.

Now, we've got Arthur Smith and Dean Pees, two coaches who hang their hats on adaptability. This means the scheme will be made to work with our players, and that to me is a recipe for wins.

I expect the offense to make a dramatic turnaround. I think we will have a winning record this season. My biggest concern is if it's gonna be like 2015 again where we were still learning the offense so it wasn't as successful as the next season. Really curious about how long it takes to get used to the offense.

DK should have never been hired to run a WCO he never ran in his life. What AS ran in TN is similar to what KS ran here and ML in 2018 installed same offense in TN. Heck Sark should have been never hired to run some one else’s offense. Ryan and most of offense is already familiar with KS offense. What they need to do is get on same page with tendencies of the play caller and QB. Understand what works and what doesn’t work. There may be slight change in terminology but the offense should be very similar to KS.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, falcons007 said:

DK should have never been hired to run a WCO he never ran in his life. What AS ran in TN is similar to what KS ran here and ML in 2018 installed same offense in TN. Heck Sark should have been never hired to run some one else’s offense. Ryan and most of offense is already familiar with KS offense. What they need to do is get on same page with tendencies of the play caller and QB. Understand what works and what doesn’t work. There may be slight change in terminology but the offense should be very similar to KS.

Yeah man I always thought it was so laughable to think that you could simply hand Dirk Koetter the old Shanahan playbook and replicate anything. It's really asking a lot to try and be as creative as Shanahan.

I think people are going to be very surprised with the Falcons because I think that Smith and Ryan are going to make a great pair, and we also have what looks like a pretty easy schedule.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, PokerSteve said:

Despite a disappointing stretch of losing seasons, new blood at HC/OC and DC has at least one expert predicting the Atlanta Falcons have a great chance to soar to the top of the NFC South Division again in 2021. Linsey mentioned the Carolina Panthers, so I presume he means they are the top candidate to go worst to first. I don't agree.

This isn't a lengthy read. Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus points out that only Green Bay and Kansas City had more added expected points per play than did the Tennessee Titans under then-OC Arthur Smith.

Nobody knows what the future holds, but my estimate of the Falcons' potential for next year is not far off this. We only have about 31 players on the roster, so there is a whole lot of addition and a few more subtractions before we know what the team will look like. With AS and DP as OC and DC, we know the Falcons are going to play a lot more disciplined, aggressive, creative and physical. Those new points of emphasis should carry the team a substantial way toward that goal.

What are your thoughts? Is Linsey just playing Falcon fans, or does a strong Falcon turnaround actually make sense with all the coaching changes and new GM?

https://thefalconswire.usatoday.com/2021/02/11/falcons-nfl-atlanta-pro-football-focus-nfc-south/?utm_source=falconswire&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=pos1headline&ats=d285247f76cb0c68eec4ee0c83dd0c50fa5f2a20476b6c9e14d9ce1617a18605

 

5 hours ago, Draftnut57 said:

I already knew that...  If the new Coach and his staff nail this draft..  We will shock the NFL.!!

 

4 hours ago, The Don™ said:

I count 6 games that were winnable and we blew it. Horrible coaching and bad execution when it mattered. Cowboys, Bears, Lions, Chargers, first Bucs game and Chiefs. Our overall point differential was -1.1 which indicates very close games. 

The hope is coaching makes a difference this year and we've seen teams turn it around very quickly due to coaching but we also have to hit on the draft and free agency to compete for a playoff spot. We're not as far off as people think.

 

4 hours ago, NorthGaBoy said:

I tend to be very conservative when projecting future success.  But, your comment is indicative of a team that could quickly exceed expectations. 

Darn you The Don, now you have me thinking positive.  I need some negative news to settle back down.  You see what you did, right?

 

2 hours ago, octoslash said:

Weren't the Falcons statistically the greatest 4-12 team in NFL history?  

Lol but seriously, losing 7 games by a combined something like 13 points, that's not a terrible team.  It's an undisciplined team that just couldn't finish games.  

They just had terrible coaching and terrible results.  

Teams turn it around quickly every year, maybe with these seemingly huge upgrades in the staff, we can finally get back to winning football.  

 

I have been watching football in general and the Falcons in particular,  since 1977.  Whenever the Falcons had the coaching, they didn't have the GM.  When the Falcons had the GM... the Falcons didn't have the coaching.  And the Falcons never had the ownership, until Blank came along.   Like any rookie, AB made his mistakes.   But like many successful people, AB learned from those mistakes.

I tell you this.... I feel better about our three leaders.... Artur Blank, Terry Fontenot, and Arthur Smith.... I feel better about this combo, than I have about any other combination in this team's history.   I see..... finally!... a common understanding of how to build a successful NFL franchise.   I see an understanding of how to win in the NFL.   

These guys won't be 'figuring things out' as they go along.  The Falcons will not be losing five-six games before the HC declares, 'We need a more balanced offense, we need to run the ball more'.   Players like Beasley will either play.... or sit, and eventually be gone.  Remember, the Titans are the team Beasley went too.   AS saw how Vrabel gave Beasley a chance, but when Beasley pulled his 'sucks until contract time' act, Vrabel cut him.

And we darn sure won't lose another Super Bowl because our coaches decide to pass the ball... out of the shotgun yet!... instead of running the ball, and clock, then bringing out one of the best kickers in NFL history, to kick the clinching field goal.   That level of coaching ineptitude can never be matched. 

Smith appears to be a no-nonsense coach.  Gosh how we have needed -that-.  Players will see that too.  I think they will respond.   The Falcons will win more games than they lose.  10-6, that's what I predict.

Edited by egoprime II
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, egoprime II said:

 

 

 

 

I have been watching football in general and the Falcons in particular,  since 1977.  Whenever the Falcons had the coaching, they didn't have the GM.  When the Falcons had the GM... the Falcons didn't have the coaching.  And the Falcons never had the ownership, until Blank came along.   Like any rookie, AB made his mistakes.   But like many successful people, AB learned from those mistakes.

I tell you this.... I feel better about our three leaders.... Artur Blank, Terry Fontenot, and Arthur Smith.... I feel better about this combo, than I have about any other combination in this team's history.   I see..... finally!... a common understanding of how to build a successful NFL franchise.   I see an understanding of how to win in the NFL.   

These guys won't be 'figuring things out' as they go along.  The Falcons will not be losing five-six games before the HC declares, 'We need a more balanced offense, we need to run the ball more'.   Players like Beasley will either play.... or sit, and eventually be gone.  Remember, the Titans are the team Beasley went too.   AS saw how Vrabel gave Beasley a chance, but when Beasley pulled his 'sucks until contract time' act, Vrabel cut him.

And we darn sure won't lose another Super Bowl because our coaches decide to pass the ball... out of the shotgun yet!... instead of running the ball, and clock, then bringing out one of the best kickers in NFL history, to kick the clinching field goal.   That level of coaching ineptitude can never be matched. 

Smith appears to be a no-nonsense coach.  Gosh how we have needed -that-.  Players will see that too.  I think they will respond.   The Falcons will win more games than they lose.  10-6, that's what I predict.

10-6,,, That's what I said we'd have before the 2020 season..  :yikes: Well.. I'll have to say,, I'm with you.. I was just a year early !  🤣 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I expect the team to be better just off simple regression. No way they can lose that many close games again. The odds were astronomical the way they lost some games this year.

Then add to that the competency of the coaching staff and they should be in the playoff hunt.

However, I don't think it will be until year two that they become true championship contenders. Things could click near the end of the first season but it is usually the second when players and coaches get settled in and the roster gets filled out with players that fit the system. There may be even more of that than usual as the cap goes back up in 2022.

Then again, we should have more turnover than normal because of the cap and cuts this year that may speed the transition along.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, The Don™ said:

I count 6 games that were winnable and we blew it. Horrible coaching and bad execution when it mattered. Cowboys, Bears, Lions, Chargers, first Bucs game and Chiefs. Our overall point differential was -1.1 which indicates very close games. 

The hope is coaching makes a difference this year and we've seen teams turn it around very quickly due to coaching but we also have to hit on the draft and free agency to compete for a playoff spot. We're not as far off as people think.

We are definitely not close to being in Superbowl.

Trenches lack depth.

No pass rush.

Weak secondary. Thin at safety.

Top heavy with contracts...difficult to get aggressive in F.A.

Draft picks are not going to carry us deep in playoffs.

Plus, aging Centre (Mack)  and WR (Julio)

We shall make the playoffs. Doubt go beyond first or second round.

Bottom line, it comes to Matt Ryan and offense to STOP BRADY  3 X IN A YEAR.

Can Matt Ryan do it ? Who's I believe 0-8 vs Brady.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Draftnut57 said:

10-6,,, That's what I said we'd have before the 2020 season..  :yikes: Well.. I'll have to say,, I'm with you.. I was just a year early !  🤣 

You weren't wrong to predict 1o-6 last year.   Quinn had run the defense before, and gotten decent results.   The Falcons had taken care of our biggest needs with Gurley, Fowler, Dennard, Grady and Debo signing contracts.  Our draft class was unknown, but seen as having upside.   We appeared to be building on the drafting successes of 2018 and 2019.

I don't know if the Falcons were  a 10-6 team or not. But I am absolutely -sure- the Falcons were not a 4-12 team.  This team could have easily won 4 more games. At least.   Our coaching cost us big time.  The 2nd hardest schedule in the NFL did not help either.

This season?  We have a last-place schedule.  Our coaching\ leadership will be better, with coaches and FO people coming from recently winning teams.  Both our coordinators, Arthur Smith and Dean Pees, are established long term NFL vets who already know how to win.   I can't see any downside here.

Our talent level is suffering a bit right now because of the shear number of open roster spots, with more to come.  Our two biggest FA losses, Neal and Mack, we at least already have replacements for.  Other than those two.... we haven't really lost anyone that isn't replaceable.   Our underwhelming 2017 draft class 'graduated' this year, no great loss there.   The talent we bring in will add to what we have.... the coaching is already better at the vital HC and coordinator spots.   Our schedule stands to be 'easier'.

10-6 looks to be achievable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is exactly why I’ve been adamantly opposed to a complete rebuild. We have more talent on this roster than the tear it down and start over chorus realizes.

Quality , innovative coaching and scheming can get way more out of players than predictable play calling, predictable schemes and forcing square pegs into round holes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, gazoo said:

This is exactly why I’ve been adamantly opposed to a complete rebuild. We have more talent on this roster than the tear it down and start over chorus realizes.

Quality , innovative coaching and scheming can get way more out of players than predictable play calling, predictable schemes and forcing square pegs into round holes.

I guess folks want to get rid of the Super Bowl 'taint'.   Thing is, we only have a few players left from that team.  And -none- of the coaches.

The Falcons are going to run the ball more, I think that's obvious.   That one thing will win us more games.

Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, egoprime II said:

I guess folks want to get rid of the Super Bowl 'taint'.   Thing is, we only have a few players left from that team.  And -none- of the coaches.

The Falcons are going to run the ball more, I think that's obvious.   That one thing will win us more games.

Ryan is lethal with a good PA passing game. You have to have a decent running game to accomplish that.

The importance of a running game for a pocket passer is critical, and is not lost on the better coaching staffs who have almost always made sure Brady had a good running game 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...