The Falcons, rebuilt

The Atlanta Falcons are back. After a few down years, they are now 5-1, their only loss coming to the Saints in New Orleans. While some dismiss the Falcons for their easy schedule, I’m here to say that this year, the Falcons are for real.

With Matt Ryan and receivers like Julio Jones in their prime, the offense of the Falcons is virtually unstoppable. If the Jets were to put their best cornerback (Darrelle Revis) on Julio Jones, the best Revis could do would be to lock him down. Even that probably wouldn’t happen considering the size, strength, and speed of Jones. But, for kicks, let’s say he locks him down. That means Matt Ryan now has more space to work with on the field, with Leonard Hankerson and Roddy White as his other receivers.

In the past, the aerial attack hasn’t been the problem for the birds. It’s been the run game. This year, things are different with Devonta Freeman as the featured back. Freeman has proved to be a serious red-zone threat, with nine touchdowns in the first six games. He’s also averaging just under five yards per carry, at 4.8. Granted that Freeman can keep up his production, I would bet that most teams won’t stop the Falcons at two and fiveevery series.

Or for instance, let’s say the Panthers go undefeated for the whole season (most likely won’t happen) and the Falcons finish second in the division at let’s say 12-4. The Falcons would probably play the winner of the NFC East, who could really be anyone. If the Cowboys win, that would be the toughest game the Falcons could have if they are a wildcard team. I would bet on the Falcons against the Cowboys 8 times out of 10. The Falcons haven’t played enough games for me to say 9 or 10 out of 10 times, but I’m pretty confident in the matchups across the field.

The defense has also been great. Although the Falcons are listed at 22nd in total defense in the league, some key stats contribute to the success. The Falcons are third in rushing yards allowed, and give up just under 24 points per game. Some say that the defense is weak again this year, but I’m not sure how they can say that given these strong stats. The defense is exceptional in the red-zone which is why the falcons are 22nd in total defense but 17th in points allowed per game.

The Falcons are set for success this year with a particularly easy schedule and a talented team on all sides of the ball. I’ve got them in the NFC Championship at least this year, and maybe even the Super Bowl.