Thursday, July 16, 2009

What I Think Of the Falcons

NP- What was the biggest kick in the nuts of the 2008 football season?

MR. F- That's easy, if you are a Bears fan. Without a doubt it was the game where the Bears played the Falcons in Atlanta, and managed to take the lead in a game with 8 seconds left and still lose it. I don't think even the Cubs wearing football helmets could do that.

NP- It was that kind of season for the Falcons though right?

MR. F- Oh yes, it was a magical ride to the moon on a licorice whip.

NP- And how did that happen for a team that was so awful in 2007?

MR. F- Everything that their new GM, Tom Dimitroff, did in the offseason turned out to be a home run. Signing Michael Turner, a guy who was a good backup but had never started? He carries 376 times for 1699 yards. Draft a rookie quarterback with the 3rd overall pick AND start him from day 1? That's crazy...even Troy Aikman went 1-15 or something as a wait Steve Walsh was QB for that "1"...he went 0 and whatever. No problem for the Falcons though, Ryan is awesome all year. Everything went right.

NP- Will Matt Ryan be as good in his sophomore season?

MR. F- They are going to lean on him a lot more than they did last year. Michael Turner cannot carry the ball 376 times this year, unless he wants to be Eddie George's backcourt mate in wheelchair basketball next year. So the Falcons are going to throw the ball more. They recognize that though, and got Ryan another weapon, a very good weapon, a Hall of Fame weapon in tight end Tony Gonzalez.

NP- So the Chiefs spend all this money on Matt Cassel, and then take away what would have been his #1 receiver, trading him for a second round draft pick?

MR. F- That's why they are the Chiefs.

NP- Who's a fantasy sleeper on this team?

MR. F- I don't think you can call Roddy White a sleeper any more. He's a legit star. Michael Turner is going to need someone to be for him this year what he was to LaDanian Tomlinson in San Diego, meaning somebody who can carry the ball 10-15 times a game to lighten the load on the top guy. Jerrious Norwood is that guy, and he always has been able to break a big run here and there. He might be worth taking a flyer on, especially since there's a good chance Turner could be hurt for a portion of this season given the workload he had last year.

NP- The Falcons have a special player on the defensive side of the ball too don't they?

MR. F- Oh yes. John Abraham had 16 1/2 sacks last year. He'll have to be that good again this year because the Falcons lost their best corner, Dominique Foxworth, to free agency. You know Foxworth is good because he signed with the Ravens and if the Ravens think he's good enough to play on their defense than he is good. So the Falcons are going to be vulnerable in the secondary, which means that the pass rush is going to have to get to the QB before he can have a chance to attack that secondary.

NP- Prediction time...

MR. F- The cruel wheel of NFL fate is going to cut the Falcons down to size this year. Meaning the schedule. They've got road games at New England, SF, Dallas, New Orleans, Carolina, both New York teams, and Tampa. I don't see any easy wins there and I don't see more than 2 or 3 wins total. They are going to have to be close to perfect at home to make the playoffs, and that's going to be difficult when their status as an NFC South member means that Tampa, Carolina, and New Orleans all come into the Georgia Dome. Not to mention the incomparable Jay Cutler and the Bears, who will go 16-0 this year due to Cutler's greatness. I say 8-8 for the Falcons. No playoffs.

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