Falcons predicted to finish 7-9 by “Outsiders”

BLOGCATIONVILLE — Headed for that last blog-cation before the season starts. Needed to get a few things for you all to nimble on.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan on winning and ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete. Show airs at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan won an ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete. Show airs at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Not everyone is predicting greatness for the Falcons in 2009.

The folks over at Football Outsiders Almanac 2009, are predicting more doom and gloom. In their eyes, the streak will reach 44 seasons. There will be no playoffs and someone’s pet is probably going to die.

In the publications’ eight page analysis of the Falcons, Rob Weintraub, a local free lancer and TV production worker, points out that over the last 30 years, 17 teams have improved by seven games — including the Falcons and Miami last season — but only the 1998 Jets under Duane Charles Parcells (some folks call him Bill) have improved the next season.

Those other 14 teams, wins decrease by an average for four. That would put the Falcons at 7-9 in 2009.

“Every other team has come back to the pack for various reasons,” Weintraub said. “It’s the NFL, parity rules.”

Part of the Falcons summary reads, “2009: That bar is set much higher, and the team is weighted down by almost certain regression.”

Here’s how they see the Falcons coming back to the pack:

THE DECLINE IN HEALTH: “The more statistical things that we’ve gone through point to injuries. The Falcons were a very healthy team last year. They were fifth-best in terms of our stats: man-games-missed by their starters.

Here's what an ESPY looks like.

Here's what an ESPY looks like.

“We found that there is no correlation from year-to-year. Teams that stay healthy for one year don’t necessarily stay healthy the next year. In fact, teams will go backwards in that category.

“If you just have a couple of injuries to a couple of linemen, that could be overcome. Now, if Matt Ryan goes down in the second weak of the season, then the whole thing falls apart. There is a great deal of fortune involved.”

Falcons fans have been there. Check 1999, injuries to Jamal “Jam” Anderson not Jamaal “Sackmaster” Anderson and to Chris Chandler the year after going 14-2 and reaching the Super Bowl. That team went 5-11.

THE SCHEDULE: The Falcons don’t have the AFC West and the NFC Central to kick around. They have the AFC East and NFC East.

“The schedule is significantly more difficult,” Weintraub said.

THE CURSE OF 370: The Outsiders have come up with this “Curse of 370” notion.

Here’s how that works, only one running back – Eric Dickerson – has managed to stare down the Curse.

“Any running back who carries 370 times or more in a single season, there is a significant dropoff or injury the next season,” Weintraub said. “Eric Dickerson is the only guy who’s beat that.”

Eric Dickerson

Eric Dickerson

Micheal Turner had 394 carries for 1,742 yards in 17 games last season.

“You are talking about a very high probability that he’s going to experience a significant (dropoff) this year,” Weintraub said. “Now, it would behoove the Falcons greatly to ease off on his carries. They have Jerious Norwood, whom we love as a back.

“If they can establish a real combination back there, that could definitely offset some of the projected decline in Turner’s numbers.”

The great Dickerson went for 1,808 yards on 390 carries in 1983. He followed that up with 2,105 yards on 379 carries in 1984.

In 1988, Dickerson had 388 carries for 1,659 yards and in 1989 he had 1,311 yards on 314 carries.

Sadly, he was worn out at age 29. By the time he got to the Falcons in 1993, Dickerson could only muster 91 yards on 26 carries.

THE X- FACTOR: The Outsiders don’t know what to do with the addition of tight end Tony Gonzalez.

Tony and October Gonzalez

Tony and October Gonzalez

“We’ve never really had a projection to account for adding a hall of fame tight end, when your biggest need is tight end,” Weintraub said. “It’s obviously a plus, assuming he stays healthy and stays at the level he’s been at.

“He’s also defied all kinds of logic and projections that we’ve done. Our numbers have said they he was going to fall off for the last three years and he hasn’t. That’s a testimony to what a great all-time great player that he is.”

CAN RYAN WIN SHOOT OUTS?: The Outsiders ranks Ryan’s rookie season as the finest of any quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

“They may have to beat teams 35-31 every week,” Weintraub said. “That’s not a sustainable way to go to the playoffs. Now, it can be done, but I think they’ll need a better plan of attack.”

THE DEFENSE: In their regression analysis, more than 100 variables were looked at for each team. They had to consider the ensuing upheaval with replacing five starters on the defense.

“These guys could step up and play lights out,” Weintraub said. “Stephen Nicholas could turn out to be a Pro Bowl linebacker, we’ll see. But the trend over the last 15 years with teams putting (five or more) starters who have played so little into their starting defense, doesn’t bode well.”

CAVEAT: They still have to play the games.

“We projected the Falcons not to be good last year,” Weintraub said. “But (Matt Ryan) significantly out performed the trends. Surely, that can happen again. We certainly acknowledge that there are times when players step up and become superstars.”

IN SUMMATION: A lot has to happen for the Falcons to end that 43-year streak of never posting back-to-back winning seasons.

“Overall, they have a lot of trends, anchoring them and weighing them back to the pack this year,” Weintraub said. “Right now the numbers say they are going to take a step back.”

You can get the Football Outsiders Almanac 2009 off their website: www.footballoutsiders.com and print-on-demand copies from Amazon.com in late July.

D.LED’S UNOFFICIAL/BOOTLEG DEPTH CHART

Falcons need to line up Decatur's Keri Hilson to do the National Anthem to open the season.

MISS KERI BABY: Falcons need to line up Decatur's Keri Hilson to do the National Anthem to open the season.

Before we get to the depth chart, here are three campers to keep an eye on:

Rashad Bobino, Linebacker, 5-11, 230: Was a big thumper at middle linebacker for the Texas Longhorns. Made the Big 12 team three times. Check out his pro day workout.

Ryan Stanchek, Guard, 6-3, 305: Was a four-year starter at West Virginia. Was all-Big East in 2006 and 2008. Played left tackle in college. Got snubbed by the coaches in the all-conference voting last season.

Thomas Johnson, Defensive tackle, 6-2, 305: His name keeps popping up. Has been with three teams since coming out of Middle Tennessee in 2005. He hasn’t been able to stick with Dallas, Houston or the New York Jets. He made three starts with Houston in 2006.

THE DEPTH CHART

QUARTERBACK: Starter — Matt Ryan. Backups – 2. Chris Redman, 3. D.J. Shockley, and 4. John Parker Wilson.

RUNNING BACK: Starters — Michael Turner and Ovie Mughelli. Backups – 1. Jerious Norwood, 2. Jason Snelling, 3. Thomas Brown and 4. Verron Haynes.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters – Roddy White and Michael Jenkins. Backups – 1. Harry Douglas, 2. Brian Finneran, 3. Eric Weems, 4. Troy Bergeron, 5. Chandler Williams, 6. Aaron Kelly, 7. Darren Mougey and 8. Bradon Godfrey.

TIGHT ENDS: Starter – Tony Gonzalez. Backups – 1. Ben Hartsock, 2. Justin Peelle, 3. Keith Zinger and 4. Jason Rader.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Starters – LT Sam Baker, LG Justin Blalock, C Todd McClure, RG Harvey Dahl, RT Tyson Clabo. Backups – Center – 1. Brett Romberg, 2. Ben Wilkerson.
Guards – 1. Jeremy Newberry, 2. Romberg, 3. Wilkerson, 4. Ryan Stanchek, 5. Jose Valez.
Tackles – 1. Will Svitek, 2. Quinn Ojinnaka, 3. Garrent Reynolds, 4. Michael Butterworth.

Falcons All-Pro defensive end John Abraham.

Falcons All-Pro defensive end John Abraham.

DEFENSIVE LINE: Starters – RDE John Abraham, RT Peria Jerry, LT Jonathan Babineaux, LDE Chauncey Davis.
Backups DE – 1. Jamaal Anderson, 2. Kroy Biermann, 3. Lawrence Sidbury, 4. Willie Evans and 5. Maurice Lucas. DT – 1. Jamaal Anderson, 2. Trey Lewis, 3. Jason Jefferson, 4. Thomas Johnson, 5. Vance Walker, 6. Tywain Myles

LINEBACKERS:
Starters – WLB Michael Peterson, MLB Curtis Lofton, SLB Stephen Nicholas. Backups: 1. Coy Wire, 2. Edmond Miles, 3. Tony Gilbert, 4. Spencer Adkins, 5. Robert James, and 6. Rashad Bobino.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: LCB – Chris Owens, FS – Erik Coleman, SS – William Moore, RCB – Chris Houston. Backups – CB – 1. Chevis Jackson, 2. Brent Grimes, 3. William Middleton, 4. Von Hutchins, 5. David Irons (injured), 6. Glenn Sharpe, 7. Tony Tiller. S – 1. Thomas DeCoud, 2. Jamaal Fudge, 3. Antoine Harris, 4. Eric Brock.

SPECIAL TEAMS – KR – 1. Jerious Norwood, 2. Thomas Brown. PR – 1. Harry Douglas, 2. Brian Finneran. P – Michael Koenen. PK Jason Elam. LS – Mike Schneck.

The Countdown to Training Camp is winding down!

1,184 comments Add your comment

Daniel Bell

July 17th, 2009
10:30 am

The coaching staff is too good to allow a team with this much offensive talent go 7-9.

JJB

July 17th, 2009
10:59 am

I see that you have Chauncey Davis listed a starting LDE. Is that a known or projected move away from Jamaal Anderson as a starter?

Greg from Marietta

July 17th, 2009
11:08 am

Good article. Now lets bring on Training Camp.

SC

July 17th, 2009
11:16 am

I always laugh when I see tougher schedule listed. First, in this league you never know what team will come out of nowhere and be good and vice-versa. So what looks like an easy or tough game may in fact be the opposite. Second, the goal is to win the division and everyone in our division plays the same schedule except for two games.

Falcondore

July 17th, 2009
11:16 am

As far as the schedule goes, a projection of 7-9 is playing it “safe”. That’s essentially saying that we can’t steal at least one from the Patriots, Giants, Eagles, Cowboys or Redskins and that we split all of our NFC South Games. While I acknowledge that the schedule is tougher, we could just as easily go 10-6 as 7-9 because we’re not going to get blown out in any of those games.

All in all, trend analysis is wishy washy. The 370 factor, while an impressive statistic, cannot by its nature be a bright-line rule. It fails to take into account an individual’s conditioning and body-type. While it is a notable “trend”, it is still only a trend.

Injuries are part of the game. That’s why you develop depth at every position and you hire good coaches, it mitigates the damage of losing a starter. Furthermore, they occur on a relatively random basis. Anyone can get hurt, but to say that teams that are healthy one year suddenly have a “trend” of getting hurt the next is pure guesswork.

Obviously they have to include a caveat, because the odds are just as good that the Falcons can win 10 games.

Finally, drawing the line on their statistic for teams that improved by 7 games and didn’t improve the next year is fairly arbitrary. You have to look at improvement along a much longer period. New England went 5-11 in 2000, won the Super Bowl in 2001 with 11 wins, went 9-7 the next year, and hasn’t been below double-digits in wins since. It’s real easy to establish that teams don’t have a “trend” of improving across a two-year period.

The history part, well, even though the evidence is against me, I don’t buy that teams are cursed, I buy that teams don’t adapt. In this case, I think this team adapts, and I can’t wait to see it on the field.

The whole point of this diatribe is that we can’t let articles like this rain on our optimism. Sure, we should temper our expectations (we’re not going to get 12 wins next year with our schedule). But games are a collaboration of tons of random events that could just as easily break our way as our opponents way.

Greg from Marietta

July 17th, 2009
11:26 am

D’Led, Keri Hilson is HOT!

Kelly Ryan | All Days Long

July 17th, 2009
11:40 am

[...] Falcons predicted to finish 7-9 by “Outsiders” Atlanta Journal Constitution – GA, USA Falcons QB Matt Ryan won an ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete. Show airs at 9 pm Sunday. Not everyone is predicting greatness for the Falcons in 2009. … See all stories on this topic No tags for this post. [...]

Falcondore

July 17th, 2009
11:44 am

And one more comment. The Falcons are going to do everything they can to ensure this offense is balanced. Clock control is their strategy. It’s only going to come down to a shootout if we are behind and need to catch up in a bad way. So to say “they need a better plan of attack,” well, they’ve got one. And we’ve already established that T-Gon is going to get less looks in terms of catches and more use for blocking, but the key stat that having T-Gon will boost us: RED ZONE TDs.

VICK SUPPORTER 2

July 17th, 2009
11:50 am

OUCH – THAT’S GOTTA HURT :)

THE ESPY GUY CAN’T GET 8 WINS :)

AGTFan

July 17th, 2009
12:01 pm

The Outsiders added a veneer of logic to the fear lurking in the back of every Falcon Fan’s mind. While I see plenty of reasons to believe that this team is better than last years on both sides of the ball, that fear isn’t going to actually go away until they get the 9th win in the upcoming season.

Dogbyte

July 17th, 2009
12:24 pm

That’s why they play the games.

jason

July 17th, 2009
12:25 pm

D3, I sent you an e-mail in response to your post about BVG, and our DAWGS. Check it out.

Mike is back

July 17th, 2009
12:40 pm

I agree with Daniel…the veteran laden coaching staff will offset the youth and exuberance of the young guys. Plus, the Falcons are more than capable of putting up thirty points with the addition of Gonzales. With the addition of speed on defense and addition of Gonzo on offense…the Falcons should be a fun team to watch this season….those guys are looking backwards…I’m looking forward and I like the direction of this team is headed.

GO BIRDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cameron

July 17th, 2009
12:43 pm

D-Led:

You have Chauncey Davis starting at LE and J Anderson at backup DT. Is that you speculating, or has the team confirmed that?

Greg from Marietta

July 17th, 2009
12:56 pm

I don’t understand why everyone is paying any attention to these prognosticators. Wasn’t it a year ago when the “Ones who know all” were predicting that the Falcons would be fortunate to be 1-11? I look at it this way; Opinions are like a certain necessary body part – everyone’s got one. There are to many variables that can determine a teams success or failure during a season. So let’s just wait until the games are played and let the wins fall where they may and forget about these “Predictions”. Heck, if these guys were really any good about predicting things why hasn’t any of then won the lottery??? Think about that.

rob

July 17th, 2009
1:06 pm

What do all these so called football experts know anyway…The game is played on the field, not on paper or in someone’s mind..11-5.. Mark it down..

Wabe

July 17th, 2009
1:15 pm

The defensive side of the ball is looking a bit questionable, therefore, going into this season, you have to be thinking RUN! RUN! RUN!

I think Coach Mike Smith and his staff understand exactly what they’re working with, and therefore understand that the offense can’t go out there and just toss the ball around 40 times a game. If you wanna see results of what would happen, just go look at the Saint’s last season. They’re rushing attack wasn’t spectacular by any means, but neither was their defense – and if you have a skeptical defense – it’s best to try and keep the time they spend on the field limited (TIME OF POSSESSION)!

With that being said, I think we’re going to find out a lot about Matt Ryan AND Michael Turner this upcoming season. Turner was spectacular last season, but if you go back and look up his stats against top-notch defenses, his #’s weren’t as great. Looking at this season’s schedule, it’ll be interesting to see if he can stay consistent week after week. Same deal with Ryan, he struggled against Tampa and Philly when we played those two teams last season, so this season will be a real test to see how he stacks up against SOLID DEFENSES.

Personally, I don’t endorse Ledbetter’s prediction, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Falcons end at around 8-8 either. I think if they can take care of business within the division (SWEEP THE BUCS) + (SPLIT WITH CAROLINA + NO), they’ll be a team to look out for, NO DOUBT.

I’m predicting 9-7, the offense is looking too good on paper to not have a winning season.

USE THE PASS TO OPEN UP THE RUN – I know it’s typically the other way around, but with the addition of Gonzalez to the core of guys we already have out there, it will have defenses on their heels all season long!

Mike Smith knows what he’s doing, he doesn’t need any tips from a bum like me…

Chattanooga Chuck

July 17th, 2009
1:32 pm

Even if the 7-9 prediction were to come true, the long term trend should be going up. I haven’t felt this optimistic since the false spring of the 1980 season. The Falcons finally have the top to bottom ingredients for longterm success; a committed owner, an astute front office, an competent coaching staff, and an improving talent base, led by an emerging frachise quarterback.

jason

July 17th, 2009
1:41 pm

We are all getting caught up drinking the Kool-Aid. I said before and will stand by my 10-6 matk. But these will be a tough 10 wins to get. We will run the ball. I am thinking 60/40 run/pass. We have to protect the young defense at least through the earlier part of the schedule. Long sustained 10+ play drives coupled with EXCELLENT directional punts will provide the defense to make plays. 10+ play 80-90 yd. drives hard to do at the NFL level. The key for the defense is to allow only 3 points rather tthan 7. I think our D can do that if supplemented by the O and ST.

Wabe

July 17th, 2009
1:45 pm

I apologize, I misunderstood, I thought Ledbetter predicted the Falcons to go 7-9.

Solid opponents week in and week out…
4 opponents after they’ve had their bye weeks (2 weeks to prepare)…
2 primetime games.

!!!!!!!!!!!!! CANT WAIT FOR THE SEASON TO GET GOING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

EJ

July 17th, 2009
1:49 pm

Are these the same “experts” that predicted that the Falcons would go 4-12 last year??!!

jason

July 17th, 2009
1:51 pm

I don’t agree with the 7-9 prediction, but I get why they feel that way. ATL did alot of things last season that noone would have imagined. Most would think that ATL would come back down to Earth some, given the replacement of 5 defensive starters, coupled with possible wear and tear on Turner. Follow the above post as to how we can protect the defense. Now, add to the offense Gonzo and more touches to Norwood and Snelling. Those 3 players will take some of the work load off of Turner and also let Ryan develope even further as a NFL QB.

Falcondore

July 17th, 2009
2:11 pm

Jason, and the other great thing about Gonzo is, he forces defenses to spread the field. You can’t load 8 in the box on us anymore with him lurking around. He may not get numbers like he did in KC, but he will force teams to pay him some attention, or they will get burned. And that quite simply is huge for Turner. You want to load 8 in the box and bring blitzes, you can dump it to Gonzo all day long.

jason

July 17th, 2009
2:16 pm

Falcondore, True, you could run Gonzo on a route as a decoy, and then run a draw with Turner to the spot vacated by the LB in pass coverage. Gonzo will bring more than just catching and blocking. You will have to take notice of where he is; if you are the defense (OLB).

WR

July 17th, 2009
2:21 pm

Wow, can I say that again, WOW, if D3 fires back at you, you know you are in a competitive league, alright D3 you got my attention, I expected some trash talk from Seminole but when you fire back I know its on. Can’t even imagine what Stirg is going to be like, its cool though, just gotta bring my B game now and I have to consider bringing out the A game, but as thou shalt not run, thou shall be bent over.

Well D-Led what did you expect, until the birds show the world that they are for real you will continue to have doubters. With hopes as high as ever I have my doubts, kind of been trained that way if you get my drift. But, truly I believe the doubts will be put to an end, the birds will overcome all doubt and the birds will validate our commitment and struggles to believe.

Southside Falcon

July 17th, 2009
2:21 pm

FalconDore is A GENIUS and just knowledge bowled the football outsiders

Bubba

July 17th, 2009
2:23 pm

The key to success – or failure – for this team will be attitude. The Falcons have never had back-to-backs in large part because of team attitude. The “here-we-go-again” mentality permeates this organization. Too many times, when the going get’s tough, the tough get going. Straight to the locker room to start the b**** session that ultimately leads to a huge personnel change and a whole new “rebuilding” process.

That’s what Dimitroff and Smith were hired to change. You can’t blame it on the Smiths any more. You can’t blame it on the “style-no-substance” personae of Mora and McKay. If you want to achieve, you must first believe. The Patriots won without Brady. They believed. That’s what Dimitroff was hired to do, bring the “believe” attitude. That’s what’s gonna give us back-to-back winning seasons.

Falcondore

July 17th, 2009
2:27 pm

Ryan will find that open man too. He’s proven that when he’s on he can make 4 reads quickly, which is invaluable when you’re being blitzed. Gonzo really adds an invaluable outlet and removes so much pressure on the offense on 1st-3rd down. This offense isn’t going to try to kill you with scoring, they’re going to kill you by holding on to the ball the whole game. And I can’t wait to see it.

jason

July 17th, 2009
2:27 pm

WR, The second paragraph in your post says it all. ATL has to have back to back winning seasons. That is the first step. Until then, we will get no respect. And like you, I have those same diubts in my mind. We know we have a really good team; I am waiting on that significant injry to come along and derail everything (Jamaal Anderson RB). Knock on wood, I hope to be waiting long past this season.

jason

July 17th, 2009
2:29 pm

Falcondore, Don’t forget Norwood out of the backfield as an outlet. I see him more of a recieving threat this year.

Falcondore

July 17th, 2009
2:44 pm

How could I forget Norwood out of the backfield? You have lightning in a bottle with him in open space.

We definitely have to get the monkey off our backs with the back-to-back winning seasons. It means that even a 9-7 record will result in a successful year.

Like I said about injuries, they’re part of the game. That’s why you build depth and have good coaching, so you can mitigate the loss of a good player. They are going to happen, sometimes you’ll be lucky to escape free and clear, sometimes you won’t. But worrying about injuries is like worrying about rain a month from now, you gotta go in knowing that it can happen, and be prepared when it does happen.

Don’t underestimate the moves TD has been making to build depth on the roster, or the fact that he has picked players who are very versatile and can play multiple positions.

2009 NFC Predictions

July 17th, 2009
2:45 pm

jason

July 17th, 2009
2:47 pm

Good point, but on every team you have a pivotal player that you cannot afford to be without for a period of time. ATL would be Ryan on offense. I like the moves that TD has made, we just need to get em coached up and some game experience so they will be ready when called upon.

confederated sports teams in Atlanta

July 17th, 2009
2:58 pm

no matter how good your offence is , if you don’t have a defence you will lose. 7-9 is to good more like 6-10 if that. A lot of people in Atlanta has always been offense minded. that why you will lose defense is how you win in the NFL. look at new Orlean they have pure offense and no D but do they win no!! loseville still

Michael Turner

July 17th, 2009
2:58 pm

If Matty Ice gets injured, do you think we can find anybody to hand the ball off to me? It’s really hard to find a qb who can hand the ball off and watch me chew up the yardage.

confederated sports teams in Atlanta

July 17th, 2009
3:01 pm

QB is still the weak link watch and see Falcon fans!

Wabe

July 17th, 2009
3:10 pm

Just take a look at the first couple weeks of the season:

Week 1 vs Miami

Week 2 vs Carolina

Week 3 AT NE

Week 4 – BYE

Week 5 vs SF

Week 6 vs Chicago

Through 6 weeks, the Falcons only play 1 game on the road. I could honestly see them at 4-1 through Week 6, the lone loss being at NE. You probably think I’m on the Kool-Aid, but to those of you who see the Falcons winning 10 games, they’ll never do that if they don’t take advantage of this early ‘homestand’. The schedule really gets to be a “toss up” from week 6 on out.

jason

July 17th, 2009
3:15 pm

Wabe, That is true, and so key. I think N.E> will be our only loss out of the first 6 also. And that will be a close loss.

Bad News

July 17th, 2009
3:42 pm

This season is doomed before the week 4 bye:

Week 1 vs Miami …… will be wild cat to death

Week 2 vs Carolina …. best backfield tandom in NFL + Smith

Week 3 AT NE ….. total blow out

Week 4 – BYE

Week 5 vs SF …… too much Gore

Week 6 vs Chicago…. Cutler will destroy you

Once again, maybe next year!

jake

July 17th, 2009
3:44 pm

confederated sports teams in Atlanta- how is QBa weak link?????????

Trey

July 17th, 2009
3:55 pm

Chauncey is the best in the business. The Falcons would be wise to start a pro that delivers. Look out for Davis this year. Big things!

jason

July 17th, 2009
3:57 pm

Don’t take the bait….

Falcondore

July 17th, 2009
4:20 pm

Obviously the schedule is brutal because we pick up the NFC East and the AFC East, but I think Wabe is right on when he notes that huge homestand. We were 7-1 last year at the Dome. That’s nothing to scoff at, it’s tough to play well in there because it gets loud, and will only be louder now that the excitement is back. All the teams we play in those first six weeks with the exception of New England and Carolina are teams with just as many question marks. If we can take care of business at home against Miami, Carolina, and Chicago, and pick up a west coast win against San Fran, we’ll be sitting awfully pretty.

Also, on the homestand note, we do play Dallas and the Giants on the road, but we get Philadelphia at home next year which is huge. And it’s actually a huge plus that we get the Bills at home this year, as I think they’ll end up being stronger than the Jets.

Mike is back

July 17th, 2009
4:28 pm

I think the improved speed on Defense will be the surprise this year. That’s all Coach Smith is talking about…sure there will be some growing pains…but everywhere Smith has coached he has had a stout Defense…I expect the same for the Birds.

I’m looking for someone to get BLOWED THE F UP when they run that ball or go over the middle for a pass this season. Peria Jerry and Lawrence Sidbury are very intriguing addition…both has the potential to make major contribution immediately…that should help with our run defense and pass rushing. Save for the lost of Foxworthy…I think the defense got better…even though we got younger.

Mike is back

July 17th, 2009
4:33 pm

Well, I will admit that replacing Malloy will difficult too. Still like our chances though.

falcondawg

July 17th, 2009
4:44 pm

Let’s get it started!!!

falcondawg

July 17th, 2009
4:46 pm

Not so sure losing Malloy will hurt us that much. He had lost so much last year. His greatest contribution was his leadership and experience that he displayed to the youngsters.

Sarah B

July 17th, 2009
4:56 pm

WR I’m not exactly an Angel either. You better bring it!!!

And yes 11-5, Gonzo, more Norwood, long drives are the key.

jason

July 17th, 2009
4:57 pm

falcondawg, True. His fate was sealed in that playoff loss to Arizona. TD and Smitty knew that they had to gey younger and faster at that position going ahead.

jason

July 17th, 2009
4:57 pm

Sarah B, any word on the date of the Fantasy Draft.