NFL Season Preview: Atlanta Falcons

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Back in 2007, the Atlanta Falcons went through a drastic change as they had to find a new starting quarterback after three-time Pro Bowler Michael Vick was sent to prison for 18 months due his role in a dog fighting ring.

After Vick was sent away, the Falcons went from a perennial playoff team to arguably one of the worst teams in the NFL virtually overnight. No matter what the Falcons tried to do in that season after they lost Vick, Atlanta just couldn’t get back on track, but fortunately the loss of the face of the franchise was a blessing in disguise as it paved the way for the team to select quarterback Matt Ryan with the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Even though no one expected much out of the former Boston College quarterback, Matt Ryan just blew up in his first season under center in Atlanta as he led the Falcons to playoffs while throwing for 3,440 yards, 16 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions in his rookie campaign.

Unfortunately, the surprisingly successful rookie season had to end for Ryan at some point in time and that it did against Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals in the first round, but the Atlanta Falcons put up a fight and showed the rest of the league that they are now a force to be reckoned with in the NFC Conference.

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Heading into last season, there were high hopes of another playoff run for Matt Ryan and company as they were favored to at least clinch a playoff spot, but despite battling through some injuries to their best players they weren’t able to make back into the postseason as the finished with a 9-7 record.

Despite missing the playoffs last year, the consensus around the league has been that the Atlanta Falcons are still one of the best teams in the league and will be back to form this season as they will have running back Michael Turner, wide receiver Roddy White and quarterback Matt Ryan back healthy and ready to compete in the NFC once again.

Obviously, sharing the NFC South division with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints makes life a bit harder for the Atlanta Falcons as winning the division is a stretch to say the least, but they have a great chance of clinching a playoff spot through the NFC Wildcard.

As long as the Atlanta Falcons can keep their best players healthy and on the field every single week, they have a legitimate shot of making the playoffs, but if they struggle to stay healthy, they could be in for another long season in which they might fail to live up to expectations.

Personally, I believe the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints will be the team to beat in the NFC South division this season, but if Drew Brees and company can’t have a repeat performance of last year, the Atlanta Falcons might be able to fight their way to the top of the division and contend with the best of the best in the NFC Conference.

One Response to “NFL Season Preview: Atlanta Falcons”

  1. Whereas Peyton Manning and the Indiana Colts had problems executing the no-huddle offense, the Falcons have an easy time executing their own version as it did not interfere with the positioning of the umpire. In fact, the Atlanta’s starting quarterback felt very comfortable with the new setup.

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