Wednesday, August 17, 2005

NFC South Atlanta Falcons

Finished 2004 season 11-5, 1st place in the NFC South, lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game

Key returning starters:
Michael Vick – QB
Alge Crumpler – TE
Keith Brooking – LB
Warrick Dunn – RB
And again….Michael Vick - QB

The Falcons had a very successful year in 2004 and are looking to build upon their success in 2005. The Falcons, with the best run offense in the league last season are now looking to Vick to put up big numbers through the air. Biggest concern for the Falcons this season is how will their defense perform against the run, their biggest problem in 2004?

2004 Stats:
Ranked 20th overall in offense, #9 ranked in NFC
Ranked 14th overall in defense, #6 ranked in NFC

Your thoughts on the Atlanta Falcons this upcoming 2005 season...strengths/weaknesses and your prediction on where they will finish in the division.


Blogger Steve said...

You know for a team that ended up in the NFC Championship game, they sure didn't rank high offensively or defensively. I feel in order for the Falcons to be successful and to take the next step, Vick has to be a threat through the air. 2300 yards, 14 TDs isn't considered a top notch QB. If it weren't for his athleticism, making plays and running the ball, Vick wouldn't be a starting QB in the league. But damn, those 120 rushing attempts for 900 yards is sure impressive.

This next season - most might believe Vick will break the 1,000 yard barrier. I'll disagree. Now that Vick has had a year in this new offense, he's going to relax a bit more and start throwing instead of running. Dunn will get the job done on the ground and their defense will play good enough to...

Prediction time...

Win the NFC South again. However, this season, I think the Falcons take it to the next level and we'll see them in Super Bowl XLX.

8:16 AM  
Blogger RED said...

Bold prediction Steve, Bold prediction. I definatly see the Falcons having great success this season but unfortunately I don't think they have what it takes to make it to the super bowl just yet. Here is why: The defense had a pretty damn good season but there red zone defense was not that great giving up points 63% of the time which is one of the reasons Denver didn't fare as well. Michael Vick still needs to learn how to get the ball to his receivers and utilize them. I agree with you Steve that Vick probably will not rush for more then 1000 yards. if the Falcons offense can start getting it's receivers involved and convert on 3rd downs at a better rate look for them to at least win the weak in my mind division. 10-6

8:52 AM  
Anonymous JohnnySox said...

Falcons are a solid team, but Vicks passsing game must improve for them to make the next step. IO think Carolina is the team to beat in this division with the balance of a great running game, good rceivers, great coach and top defense. Falcons finish second and make the wild card.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

You're right Red, it was a bold prediction. But to have the Falcons end up in the NFC Championship game last season was nothing short of unbelivable.

Here are a few reasons why I made this prediction:

1) Weak NFC South division - Johnny, Carolina may have a solid running attack, but since they lost Muhammed, I don't see the Panthers having a lot of success offensively. For a team that finished 5-11 a year ago, saying they are the team to beat is almost humerous.

2) The NFC is just weak too - two teams are playoff contenders all ready and one of those teams might struggle a little bit (Eagles). I strongly feel Green Bay is the only other team that will for sure make the playoffs. The rest is undecided, pure speculation.

As long as Vick stays healthy, I don't see the Falcons missing the playoffs.

3) The fact remains, Vick who was new to an offense still took a team to 1 win away from the Super Bowl

4) Their defense is going to be fine - of the top 9 teams in the NFC ranked off of defense points/game, only 2 of those teams made the playoffs...Philly and Atlanta. The rest of the NFC just is flat out weak and I honestly see only Philly standing in the way of the Falcons going to SBXLX and with the condition Philly is in now, I don't see them beating the Falcons.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous ATL Falcon Girl said...

hey guys,

Thats why I like Steve great prediction. I like Vick and Super Bowl here we come. I am even going to the New Orleans game this year!!!!!!!


2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch Carolina. Seriously. Talk about a sleeper--this team will take the division...

That being said, Vick will break 3,000 in the air, and rush for around 650. I think a 20-25 TD year is within his grasp too. He's growing more confident in the air, and will see some staggering improvement in that phase of the game...
Still, I don't think this is the year they make it to the Bowl. McNabb is twice the QB Vick is(currently) and has more playmakers in all phases around him than Vick does

4:09 PM  
Anonymous JohnnySox said...

I'm insulted! To criticize my pick of Carolina because they were 5-11 is crazy in the new NFL. I need to show examples of the quick turnarounds ? Your Falcons that went to last years NFC title game were 5-11 the prior year! San Diego was 4-12 in 2003 and Pittsburgh was 6-10 and followed that with 15-1. Carolina was totally decimated by KEY injuries at all positions including both running back, receiver, line, defense. They will return to their 2003 form barring injury. That is my prediction and we all are using biased opinions in our predictions, nobody picks all of the sleepers each year.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Johnny, the only surprise team you mentioned was San Diego.

Pittsburgh sure had a crap year in 2003 - why? Injuries, but who in 2002 won that division...yeah, Pittsburgh.

Falcons? Pretty much the same boat though 2002 was the year Tampa Took the division, but the Falcons were still in 2nd place.

The Panthers...1 good year, in 2001 they were 1-15, 2002 7-9, 2003 was there only good season and last year were crap.

I'm not saying anything bad against the Panthers, I'll give them a sleeper pick to make the playoffs, but to beat the Falcons and take the division is going out on a far ass limb.

And sure Carolina suffered major injuries - but this offseason they lost their key offensive player. Delhomme had 29 TDs last season, 16 went to Muhammed, you think Kerry Colbert is the man to replace Muhammed? That's nuts! Thats like saying Pinkston can replace TO in Philly...not going to happen. Muhammed was the teams leading's not too often an individual player has more points than the kicker, but it was the case in Carolina. That loss of Muhammed is going to hurt them big time.

Not to mention Carolina still has the same injury problems with their RB squad this season...Stephen Davis isn't 100% healthy...Nick Goings isn't goings anywhere and either is DeShaun Foster.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Lance said...

We shall see anyone who knows me has never seen me wear any other jersey besides Broncos. (NFL) However a vick jersey&visor might be seen on me soon? Exciting team questionable defense glad for best athlete in NFL. Broncos can beat in super bowl

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vick is a very over rated quarterback...I don't think he has enough consitency to make it to the superbowl... We'll see how it all plays out. Panthers would be my pick.

12:11 PM  
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3:47 AM  

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