2013 Atlanta Falcons Season Preview
The 2013 Atlanta Falcons made significant changes on both sides of the football this offseason to try to ensure another run to the playoffs. Veteran running back Michael Turner was released and replaced by long time St. Louis Ram Steven Jackson. Also on the offensive side of the football, the Falcons managed to convince future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez to forgo retirement and play one more season in the NFL. Defensively, Atlanta added defensive end Osi Umenyiora to provide a pass-rushing presence. Through the NFL Draft the Falcons revamped their secondary by selecting corner backs in each of the first two rounds—Desmond Trufant from Washington in the first round and Robert Alford from Southeastern Louisiana in the second. With a youth injection in the secondary and established veterans on both sides of the ball, the Falcons should find themselves back in the playoffs this season.
2011 Atlanta Falcons Season Preview
Despite an early exit in the playoffs last season, the Atlanta Falcons were one of the most exciting teams to watch. Led by one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, Matt Ryan, and with a powerful running game that can compete with any team in the league, it would not be surprising to see the Falcons back in the chase to win the NFC in 2011. Last season Ryan had one of the best seasons in the league. He was helped a lot by the prolific production of receiver Roddy White, who provided him with an especially reliable target. Tight end Tony Gonzalez is also a significant weapon, and is among the best tight ends ever to play the game. The Falcons will also have a solid running game in 2011 thanks in large part to the production of running back Michael Turner. The defense let the Falcons down at times last season, including an embarrassing 48-21 loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Packers. Despite their faults, the defense does feature a long list of talented players including defensive end John Abraham and cornerback Dunta Robinson.
2010 Atlanta Falcons Season Preview
The Atlanta Falcons surprised some people two years ago by riding then-rookie quarterback Matt Ryan to a playoff berth. After a sophomore slump for Ryan that saw the Falcons missing out on the playoffs last year, many people are picking the Falcons to have a successful 2010. Although Ryan has the skills to make plays when necessary, his performance will not be what the Falcons are relying on offensively. Running back Michael Turner is one of the best in the league at his position. The Northern Illinios alum is poised to have a good year after an injury-shortened 2009 that saw him rush for only 871 yards and 10 touchdowns. Ryan also has the added benefit of having several great targets to throw to including tight end Tony Gonzalez and wide receiver Roddy White. The Falcons defense struggled to defend the pass, as they ranked 28th in the league in pass defense. The secondary, which is anchored by cornerback Dunta Robinson and safety Thomas DeCoud, will have to improve if Atlanta is to live up to expectations. Veteran defensive end John Abraham leads a solid defensive line, and middle linebacker Curtis Lofton returns after leading the team with 133 tackles in 2009.
2009 Atlanta Falcons Season Preview
The Atlanta Falcons head into 2009 with a huge head of steam off their magnificent 2008 campaign. The Falcons came out of nowhere to shock the league with an 11-5 record. Much of the Falcons rebirth has been attributed to the play of then-rookie QB Matt Ryan. Ryan, the Boston College grad, looked like a veteran signal caller in 2008; he'll need to repeat that in 2009 for the Falcons to make some noise. The good news for Atlanta is that Ryan is not the only star on the offensive side of the ball; Atlanta has a dynamic duo at running back with Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood. ATL fans also have to love the promise that wide receiver Roddy White showed in '08, White is looking like a star waiting to happen. The Falcons defense should give some headaches to teams coming into the Georgia Dome. Led by sack master John Abraham, the Falcons defense will be a solid group. Coach Mike Smith's team will not sneak up on any other NFL teams in 2009, but they will not need to because they are a good football team.
2008 Atlanta Falcons Season Preview
The Atlanta Falcons are one of the most unpredictable teams to watch in the NFL this coming season. With the loss of franchise quarterback Michael Vick, who pled guilty to dog fighting charges, and a dismal 2007 season as a result, the Falcons will look to rookie Matt Ryan or placeholder Chris Redman to give the team some offensive morale. Considering the high hopes for the 2007 team with Vick, one would think that one of these two quarterbacks could propel Atlanta into a legitimate playoff contender this year or the next. However, some changes are necessary in the Falcon's defensive strategy to make sure all efforts to shut them out are quelled at the source. The development of this team will be exciting to watch, and Falcons fans will flock to the Georgia Dome to find out what lies in store for the team.