Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ice White JJ: Atlanta Falcons Season Preview

2011 Record: 10-6
Lost to NY Giants in Wild Card round

2011 Ranks
Total Offense: 10
Run Offense: 17
Pass Offense: 8
Scoring Offense: 7
Total Defense: 12
Run Defense: 6
Pass Defense: 20
Scoring Defense: 18


For the most part, the Falcons are pretty much the same team as they were last year. Matt Ryan's main weapons are all back and the offense should be at the top of the heap once again. They can pound you with Michael Turner and Jason Snelling or bomb you with Roddy White and Julio Jones, who had one of the best second halfs of any receiver in the league. The Falcons had a top 10 offense, but laid duds in each of their 6 losses. The Falcons were 0-5 in games where they scored under 20 points and 10-1 in games where they broke 20.


The biggest addition to the Falcons roster is former Steelers safety Chris Hope. The Falcons lost linebacker Curtis Lofton in free agency, who was their leading tackler last season. They did add corner Asante Samuel from Philadelphia in a trade for a draft pick to help the secondary, but the rest of the defense should be pretty much the same. Losing Lofton is a blow but the additions in the secondary should help their 20th-ranked pass defense.


Like the other teams in the NFC South, the Falcons have an offense that can put up a ton of yards and a ton of points but some big questions on defense. They were one of the top 10 teams in turnovers last year, and any team with great ball security is going to be competitive. Julio Jones looks poised to take the next step to being a big-time receiver and Asante Samuel is a nice addition to the secondary.


With the turmoil around the Saints, the Falcons could make a run at the division title this year. I don't think they have enough on defense to be Super Bowl contenders, but they certainly have the offense to be a playoff team. 10-6.

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