The Falcons in 2017: They should be good, but what if they’re not?

Come on now. The schedule isn’t THAT bad. (Henry Taylor/AJC)

The Falcons’ schedule in 25 words: Starts easy, gets harder, ends with a slew of division games — and the division wasn’t good last season.

Here’s (slightly) more detail. If the Falcons aren’t at least 3-2 after five games — the five being Chicago there, Green Bay here, Detroit there and Buffalo and Miami here — they’re in trouble. If they lose only two of the next five — New England there, Jets there, Carolina there, Dallas here, Seattle there — they should be fine. If the closing run of five-division-games-in-six-weeks (Minnesota here is the exception) proves overly problematic, they won’t win the division.

But they should. Only Tampa Bay appears to be on the rise. The Saints are yesterday’s news. The Panthers just went from 15-1 to 6-10, which doesn’t happen unless there are systemic issues. Just eyeballing the Falcons’ 16 games, I’d say they should go no worse than 11-5 again, and I’m reasonably certain 11-5 would again win the division.

But — this is a much bigger “but” — the history of Super Bowl losers in their year after is terrible, and no team ever lost a Super Bowl the way this one did. I can’t foresee a scenario, at least one not tied to major injury, in which the Birds do a Carolina and go 6-10. But I can see them being not quite as good and us all sitting around in October saying, “What’s wrong with these guys?”

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29 comments
Gman84
Gman84

If form holds, this will be the "ravaged by injury" year. 


Anytime the Falcons have seemingly been poised for a breakout, they breakdown. 

sacks
sacks

Oh yeah..no one is talking about this "wonderful" offensive coach, who has absolutely NO track record..anywhere he has ever been and has an admitted problem with the bottle!!  How in the world will he be able to run the offense when he has ZERO experience?????  Another dismal move by the front office and A.B. put his stamp of approval on it!!  I see a 4-12 team on the horizon!

sacks
sacks

how can they be as good or better when their 1st draft pick is Mckinley with a bad shoulder??? they don't know if this guy will ever recover!!  seems like we have another pass rusher with the same problem!?  oh yeah..Beasley comes to mind!

Just another"bone headed" move by the front office!!

ricker2442
ricker2442

You read it here first--Falcons will once again defy all the odds--this time in the RIGHT direction...and win the Super Bowl THIS year. Take it to the bank, folks.

Okeetee
Okeetee

This is unbelievable!  Compared to last years schedule this is going to be a cake walk!  Heck, what team in the NFL can brag they have 3 BYE weeks in the first 7 weeks of games!  We open up against the pathetic Bears, we have our own bye week  and then we've got the Jets...all in the 1st 7 weeks!  We've got an 90% chance of being 5-0 before our rematch with the Patriots! 

MoCutter
MoCutter

Another crap article by someone who doesn't have anything of substance to write about.

RashidaRWood
RashidaRWood


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DarianFisher
DarianFisher

After tearing up my heart with that epic collapse in the Super Bowl, I can't watch this team again until there is about 1 minute left on the clock in the Super Bowl and they are up by 30

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

Not one team had ever come back from more than a 10 point halftime deficit in Super Bowl history. Until one did. But I'm supposed to care about NFL history pertaining to teams who have lost the SB repeating an appearance? Or winning? The Falcons might not succeed this season. The stronger indicator is that they'll be just as successful if not more so. But let's keep putting all our eggs in Liberty Media at some point caring about winning or UGA at some point having a Saban, or the Hawks ever having a chance at anything. The Falcons are the only team in town actually trying (next to AU) but get only this doubt and disdain. And that's why we're viewed as a terrible sports city.

AtlantaSportsVictory
AtlantaSportsVictory

This season feels too soon, the pain of the Super Bowl still hurts a lot.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

Pain can motivate. It's certainly motivated the front office that went out and threw hard cash to address some deficiencies. You think Matt Ryan, possibly the most crapped on athlete this town has ever had, is chewing Anti-depressants and not working his A off to finish the string? Then you haven't watched this team once last season, since Quinn became HC, since Ryan took the reigns, or since Arthur bought the franchise. This organization wants a ring, come hell or high water they will get it.

David McCallum
David McCallum

@FineousMcDirtyBird Great assessment. This is why I have said that I don't give a damn who the Saints are anybody else on the Falcons' schedule have or will signed this off season, or who they will draft. To me, the falcons should be playing against themselves this season, starting with OTAs. Anything short of a super bowl victory is a huge disappointment for me. 

Falcaints
Falcaints

The Falcons will not be anywhere near as good this year. That epic choke will drag this team back to average.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

Based on what? Adding more talented players and having extreme motivation to avenge their heartbreak? Yeah, they'll just lie down this season with all the talent they have.

David McCallum
David McCallum

@Falcaints It's possible Saints fan. I think you should be concerned about likely problems between Adrian Peterson and your use to be starting RB from last season. Remember, your use to be starting RB from last year pouted when he was taken out of a game near the goal line last season. What do you think will happen when his carries are take from him? Worry about your own team.

RandyFalcon
RandyFalcon

Kinda a dumb question. If they're not good we'll react as Falcons fans have since '66. With disappointment but not suprise. Then we'll wait till next year.  

jcarson
jcarson

Defense will make huge strides getting Trufant, Clayborn, Miller back and adding Poe, Crawford and whatever we get in draft. Only loss is Freeney who was just a piece last year. Can't imagine this team not winning at least 10 unless multiple key injuries.

NorthFlaFalcon
NorthFlaFalcon

Mark is on target ... 11-5 and we win the NFC South. Then we shall see......

KarlWelzein
KarlWelzein

They were also incredibly fortunate last year. No injuries on the o-line, catching teams at the right time, peaking at the end of the season, etc. Not to mention replacing the Off and Def coordinators this year. It's going to be a challenge this year but i hope i'm wrong! 

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

Didn't catch GB at the right time, either time. Didn't catch Tampa at the right time, the second time. Made it to the Super Bowl game dominating two teams that knew how to play in that situation and were playing well coming into the games. I have hope for the new season like you, I know you're wrong about the last one.

David McCallum
David McCallum

@FineousMcDirtyBird It seems people seemingly always make excuses when the Falcons beat teams, but when it is the other way around - no problem.