2012 Atlanta Falcons Predictions & Odds to Win Super Bowl XLVII
2012 Atlanta Falcons Predictions
Odds to win Super Bowl XLVII: 25-1
The Falcons have made the playoffs over the last two seasons but they haven’t won a game. Last year, they were blown out by the New York Giants, 24-2 in the wild card round on the round. Since owner Arthur Blank wants more progress towards winning a Super Bowl, head coach Mike Smith had to make changes, hiring Dirk Koetter to coach the offense and Mike Nolan to head the defense. He replaced OC Mike Mullarkey, who left to become head coach of Jacksonville. The Falcons did improve their defense with the addition of CB Asante Samuel in a trade with the Eagles and MLB Lofa Tatupu.
The Falcons will go as far as Matt Ryan can take them. He did set a career high in passing yards (4,177 yds) and touchdown passes (29), while compile the league’s eighth-highest passer rating (92.2). The young quarterback and former number one pick, has a 41-19 record in four years. He has some weapons around him led by Julio Jones (54 rec. for 959 yds, 8 TDs) and Roddy White (100 for 1,296 yds, 8 TDs). At tight end, ageless Tony Gonzalez (6-4, 251) is still putting up big numbers at 36. Last year, he caught 80 passes for 875 yards and seven TDs. At running back, Michael Turner (5-10, 244) led the Falcons with 1,340 yards (4.5ypc) and 11 TDs. He’s the only back in the league to have exceeded 300 carries in three of the past four seasons, but is turning 30. On the offensive line, there is a new coach in Pat Hill. The key will be LT Sam Baker (6-5, 312), who moved to guard after returning from back surgery. He has good quickness and agility and will move back to tackle. They addressed the line in the draft by picking C-G Peter Konz (6-5, 314) from Wisconsin in the second round and OT Lamar Holmes (6-5, 323) from Southern Miss in the third round. C Todd McClure (6-1, 301) will face a challenge from Joe Hawley (6-3, 297) at center. Konz should push for the starting job at right guard.
The Falcons’ defense finished 12th in the league last year but were just 20th against the pass. The Falcons run a 4-3 defense but will likely play multiple as Nolan is a 3-4 def. Coordinator. Up front, DE Ray Edwards (6-5, 268) recorded just 3.5 sacks playing alongside John Abraham (9.5 sacks). Edwards has good speed and burst but struggles to shed when a blocker gets his hands into his pads. Rookie Jonathan Massaquoi (6-2, 264), a fifth-round pick, has a chance to play in the rotation. Corey Peters (6-3, 300) and Jonathan Babineaux (6-2, 288) are undersized up front. At linebacker, they lose Curtis Lofton (147 tackles) to New Orleans so they signed Lofa Tatupu (6-0, 242) to replace him. He missed last season due to injuries and was a three-time Pro Bowler before the injury issues. WLB Sean Weatherspoon (6-1, 239) was second on the team last year in tackles with 119. In the secondary, CB Brent Grimes (5-10, 185) is solid in run support and CB Dunta Robinson (5-11, 182) was overpaid last year. So they traded for Samuel (5-11, 185), to add a playmaker with ball skills. He has 38 picks since 2006. At safety, FS Thomas DeCoud is a solid center fielder with decent ball skills. SS William Moore has been hampered by injuries. When healthy, he has shown flashes of playmaking ability.
The Falcons have a solid kicker in Matt Bryant, who has made 88.6% of his kicks since 2009. He lacks deep range but is reliable from inside 40. P Matt Bosher finished with a 42.7 average and placed 27 inside the 20. They lose KR/PR Eric Weems to Bears in free agency. Dominique Franks and Jacquizz Rodgers will compete for both return spots.
The Falcons look like another playoff team but Ryan has to produce in the postseason. Putting up two points in one game won’t cut it anymore.
|Week 1||Sun.||Sep. 9||@ Kansas City Chiefs||1:00 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 2||Mon.||Sep. 17||vs. Denver Broncos||8:30 PM ET||ESPN|
|Week 3||Sun.||Sep. 23||@ San Diego Chargers||4:05 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 4||Sun.||Sep. 30||vs. Carolina Panthers||1:00 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 5||Sun.||Oct. 7||@ Washington Redskins||1:00 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 6||Sun.||Oct. 14||vs. Oakland Raiders||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 7||Bye Week|
|Week 8||Sun.||Oct. 28||@ Philadelphia Eagles||1:00 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 9||Sun.||Nov. 4||vs. Dallas Cowboys||8:20 PM ET||NBC|
|Week 10||Sun.||Nov. 11||@ New Orleans Saints||1:00 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 11||Sun.||Nov. 18||vs. Arizona Cardinals||1:00 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 12||Sun.||Nov. 25||@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1:00 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 13||Thu.||Nov. 29||vs. New Orleans Saints||8:20 PM ET||NFLN|
|Week 14||Sun.||Dec. 9||@ Carolina Panthers||1:00 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 15||Sun.||Dec. 16||vs. New York Giants||1:00 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 16||Sat.||Dec. 22||@ Detroit Lions||8:30 PM ET||ESPN|
|Week 17||Sun.||Dec. 30||vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1:00 PM ET||FOX|
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