The Atlanta Falcons haven’t been considered serious contenders in a while. However, the team may be on the uprise in the NFC, for they finished 8-8 last season closing out strong. Atlanta has added some nice pieces to their defensive puzzle. Coach Dan Quinn has a young, hungry team with talent that will make an impact not only in the division but in the NFC very soon. Let’s dive into some bold predictions for the upcoming season.
5 Bold Predictions:
1. Matt Ryan Rebounds in a Big Way
Matt Ryan has been inconsistent over the past few years. It’s not entirely Ryan’s fault, but Matt simply has to play better. He has a head coach in Dan Quinn who pushes guys hard to get in the best shape of their life. Ryan also has the best offensive line in front of him this year since he entered the league in 2008. Matt Ryan is a franchise quarterback, and with so many people down on him for this past season, all signs are pointing to Ryan having a great year. He started finding his groove late in the season last year. He was shifty out of the pocket and was finding his targets. Ryan has already seen Shanahan’s work through one year, so nothing should be a surprise this year as he knows this system now. Ryan also has new targets behind his stellar offensive line in Mohamed Sanu, Austin Hooper, and the up-and-coming Justin Hardy. And as if those weapons are not adequate enough, Ryan has arguably the best wide receiver in the game, Julio Jones. Final predictions: Comp Pct: 68.2%, Yds: 4,679, TD’s: 24, Int’s: 13
2. Julio Jones Nears His Own RecordPossibly the best receiver in the game today is Julio Jones. Julio is arguably just as good as Calvin Johnson, as he had one of the best starts for a receiver in NFL history last season. Jones broke Jerry Rice’s receptions record and became second on the NFL’s all-time receiving list for a single season behind Calvin Johnson and passing Jerry Rice with 1,871 yards last season. Jones has already established himself in the record books. Jones should have another monster season this year and should near his own record he set last season. Jones is simply an unguardable freak of nature and the definition of a superstar. It’s very likely Jones nears his own record. Final Prediction: 1,824 yards.
3. Falcons Will Have a Top 10 Defense
This one isn’t that hard to believe. The Falcons’ defense should be stout next year. They have a lot of pieces in place to make this a fast young athletic defense. Last year the Falcons rush defense ranked 12th in the league while their passing didn’t crack the top 15. That should improve this season and it will. With younger, more athletic guys at the linebacking corps and young run stuffers on the defensive line, this team is destined to be a top-ranked defense next season not only in rushing and passing but in turnovers as well. Dan Quinn is a mastermind on the defensive side, and now he has most of his pieces to succeed. This young defense will thrive next season.
4. Dan Quinn Wins Coach of the Year
This is a very real possibility next season. Dan Quinn is one of the better coaches in the NFL and next year he has a chance to bring the falcons back from the brink of disaster. He will do just that and he will be the coach of the year next year as he finally gets the Falcons back on track. Quinn is a coach that makes a difference in the locker room as we saw last year during games at halftime, the Falcons would come out a different team in the second half and would finish games strong. Quinn is a coach who would be ideal to get this award.
5. Falcons Make the PlayoffsWith the young players the Falcons have on the roster it seems likely the Falcons will be playing in the playoffs very soon. This team has been rebuilding for the past 3 years now and it finally has the talent, attitude,
and coaching staff to get back in the playoff mix. We’ve seen the Falcons absolutely grinding this offseason in one of the better offseasons fans have seen them have. Atlanta will be one of the teams to keep an eye on in the NFC as a darkhorse playoff contender.Young defenses are big parts of playoff teams for the most part. Look at Seattle’s defense in 2013 and 2014. Expect Atlanta to slide in the playoffs next year. Final record prediction: 10-6 (2nd in division)