Season Prediction Competition and Birds-Fins Preview Part One

Game Week

It’s finally here: 2009 Atlanta Falcons Football. We’re now hours away from teeing it up in the Terror-Dome against the Miami Dolphins for real. The long, suffering wait at last will come to an end on Sunday @ 1pm. This game is one of the biggest of the opening weekend, pitting two of the best turnaround teams from last year. The Falcons went from 4-12 in 2007 to 11-5 in 2008 and making the playoffs. The Dolphins completed an even bigger turnaround going from a lowly 1-15 in 2007 to 11-5 in 2008 and winning the AFC East. This one has a lot more implications than simply being an opener.
Big Omen, One Way or Another
Every single game in the National Football League is huge because you never know what it might take to get in the playoffs and which game could be the deciding factor. Although this game doesn’t have any inter-division implications, it’s a big test for both franchises to show that last year was no fluke and that they belong in the discussion with the top teams in the NFL. This will certainly be a big omen for the Falcons, one way or another. If the Falcons are victorious against the Dolphins on Sunday, it bodes well for the brutal run of next two games including at home against the Panthers and hitting the road to Foxboro to play the hated Patriots. It would be ridiculous to say that the first game of the season is a must win game, but it will give a good likely sign of what’s to come, because the Falcons face one of the hardest schedules in the NFL and many games will not get too awful much easier. With a win, the possibilities of 12-4, 11-5, or 10-6 become likely, but a loss would make that road much, much more difficult.

Coaching
This game will feature two of the better coached teams in the NFL. Mike Smith barely edged out Tony Sparano in the Coach of the Year award last year. The two men did a magnificent job of turning around two franchises in dire straits. Coach Smith helped fans forget about the MV debacle and the Bobby Prictrino cowardly midnight jolt, and Coach Sparano helped Dolphin fans forget that they were one game away from going 0-16. Both coaches came in with a gameplan and meshed with a new GM that set out to completely alter the franchise towards a more grounded, long-term approach. Both coaches do an excellent job of preparing their respective teams week in and week out.

Off-Season Transactions

Falcons
Free Agency/Trade – Tony Gonzalez, Mike Peterson, Brian Williams, Tye Hill
Draft – Peria Jerry, William Moore, Chris Owens, Lawrence Sidbury
Losses – Dominique Foxworth, Grady Jackson, Keith Brooking, Lawyer Milloy, Michael Boley, Harry Douglas (IR)

Dolphins
Free Agency/Trade – Gibril Wilson, Eric Green, Jason Taylor
Draft – Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, Pat White
Losses – Derek Smith, Renaldo Hill, Vonnie Holiday, Matt Roth(IR)

Atlanta Falcons Season Prediction Friendly Competition
And now for the Big Competition of the Year: time to put on your prediction hat and prognosticate how the Falcons season will play out, game by game. Predictions will be kept on hard drive, scored from week to week, and standings will be updated. No need to guess the final score, except for the first game: Falcons-Dolphins for tie-breaking purposes. In event of likely ties, Cage members with more direct hits (choosing wins-losses against correct opponents) will be first tie-breaker and Falcons-Dolphins score will be second tie-breaker. Only rule is to post it on this topic, or the Big Game preview post coming Friday before noon on Sunday. Do your best to forecast how the Birds will pan out this year and be named King of the Bird Cage after the final whistle blows against the Bucs on January 3rd, 2010. Here’s my attempt:

Falcons vs. Dolphins – Loss (Falcons 27, Dolphins 34)
Tough, hard fought game until the end. Late field goal puts Dolphins ahead for good and they claim the W.

Falcons vs. Panthers – Win
Falcons protect the Terror-Dome in a bitter NFC South fight

Falcons @ Patriots – Loss
Patriots jump on Falcons Defense early, and they struggle to recover

Falcons @ 49ers – Win
Surprisingly close victory with a much improved 49ers team

Falcons vs. Bears – Loss
Cutler and Forte match Matty Ice and Turner score for score and this time, the Bears prevail at the end

Falcons @ Cowboys – Win
Another high scoring contest, but the Falcons get some help from emerging corners and Birds pull away in the end

Falcons @ Saints – Loss
Brees and newly retooled defense take down the Falcons on Monday Night Football

Falcons vs. Redskins – Win
Another nail-biter, but Jason Campbell can’t replicate Ryan’s offensive firepower

Falcons @ Panthers – Loss
Panthers get revenge at home in Charlotte by running the ball on the Falcons defense.

Falcons @ Giants – Loss
Birds hit the .500 mark for this first time this year in a tough game in New York

Falcons vs. Bucs – Win
Birds regroup with a victory over the rebuilding Bucs

Falcons vs. Eagles – Loss
The supercharged atmosphere will be one of the best games of the year, but the Falcons old QB will not play a major role in this defeat.

Falcons vs. Saints – Win
Falcons continue trading home and home victories with the Saints and Panthers.

Falcons @ Jets – Win
Run control offense will play well and win against the Jets long out of the playoff picture

Falcons vs. Bills – Win
Even with T.O., the Bills O-Line and defense can’t make up for the potential offensive firepower.

Falcons @ Bucs – Win
Even though rebuilding, Bucs make this one really close in the last game of the year

9 – 7 (Wild-Card Playoff Spot)

Don’t want to sound negative on prognostication, but much rather under-predict and be surprised than over-predict and be disappointed. Many of the losses will be hard fought and really could swing either way, but the combination of so many new faces on the defensive side of the ball and one of the hardest schedules in the league will force our offense to over-extend and try to win too many games. The Falcons continue the process with a worse record, but overall better and deeper team, setting up the chance for a legit Super Bowl run in 2010.

Your Turn……………….

Next Topic Preview: Falcons-Dolphins Big Game Preview

288 comments Add your comment

Sarah B

September 8th, 2009
11:04 pm

Well, well. well, I’m here all by myself… Where is everybody???

Sarah B

September 8th, 2009
11:16 pm

Alone in the Cage, Kinda sad

Kinda sad :(

Dean21

September 8th, 2009
11:20 pm

Wassup Sarah B….I see you took some time off?

Dean21

September 8th, 2009
11:20 pm

It’s been some interesting topics throughout D3’s posts…So, you ready for Sunday?

boxcarar

September 8th, 2009
11:27 pm

You are never alone in the Cage, Sarah.

WTF

September 8th, 2009
11:51 pm

since when are field goals worth 7 points?

boxcarar

September 8th, 2009
11:52 pm

Boxcarar’s Season Picks
Falcons – Dolphins Win. Falcons 30 – Dolphins 24
Falcons – Kittens Loss
Falcons – Patriots Loss
Falcons – 49ers Win
Falcons – Bears Win
Falcons – Cowgirls Win
Falcons – Saints – Win
Falcons – Redskins Win
Falcons – Kittens Loss
Falcons – Giants Win
Falcons – Bucs Win
Falcons – Eagles Win
Falcons – Saints Loss
Falcons – Jets Win
Falcons – Bills Win
Falcons – Bucs Loss
End Record 11-5

Sarah B

September 8th, 2009
11:55 pm

Hey Dean21, boxcar… I’m good, how’bout you?? Ready and whaiting.

mikethetruefalcon

September 8th, 2009
11:56 pm

The Miami game will be reverse scores, we sweep the Panthers, the Giants scare me, the Eagles will be a nail bitting win. 10-6. But I wanna over predict too

Sarah B

September 8th, 2009
11:56 pm

Going about 11:00 gon to the Dome!!

mikethetruefalcon

September 8th, 2009
11:57 pm

scuse me under predict, my bad

Sarah B

September 8th, 2009
11:59 pm

Sarah B

September 9th, 2009
12:00 am

See you at the Dome…

Sarah B

September 9th, 2009
12:04 am

Mike good to have you.

boxcarar

September 9th, 2009
12:04 am

MTTF,
I overpredicted wins, but am very hopeful. I see better success out of the division than from within. Last loss is due to resting starters for playoff run.

Matt the Brave

September 9th, 2009
1:03 am

I just want those 9 wins. I don’t care if they’re pretty or ugly, I just want the 9 so that those stupid talking heads on all the networks will stop talking about how we haven’t had two back-to-back winning seasons. Just 9! Any more than that is icing on the cake.

Dean21

September 9th, 2009
1:25 am

11am is good Sarah B…btw, i’m good~

Dean21

September 9th, 2009
1:33 am

I got myself in trouble predicting the last time too early…this time, I’m going to take a moment to think things out…I don’t see us dropping that first game at home..now if it was at the fish bowl, things could be different..this game should set the tone for the season and hopefully send that bonecrusher affect throughout the league that the “Falcons aint scared, we never scared” My predications later…

Sarah B…okay, give up the tailgating spot…I’m starting the season off right, so D3 has told me one of his locations…

I think it’s best to hook the cagers up at the Carolina game..we can map out a set-point place to meet at the terror dome!

Joseph R.

September 9th, 2009
1:35 am

Falcons schedule breaks down into 3 segments.
1) Division Games 2) Conference games and 3) AFC opponents
4-2 3-3 or 4-2 3-1

WK 1: ATL over MIA 27-20 WK 8: Aints over ATL 24-21
WK 2: ATL over CAR 35-21 WK 9: ATL over Skins 30-13
Wk 3: NE over ATL 38-28 WK 10: Kittens over ATL 14-10
BYE WK 11: NYG over ATL 28-27
WK 5: ATL over SF 16-10 WK 12: ATL over TB 27-18
WK 6: ATL over CHI 24-22 WK 13: ATL over PHI 23-20
WK 7: ATL over Boys 33-30 WK 14: ATL over Aints 30-20
WK 15: NYJ upsets 13-6
WK 16: ATl over BUF 24-9
WK 17: ATl over TB 16-10
Official Prediction: 11-5 NFC South Champion

Dean21

September 9th, 2009
1:35 am

It’s Wednesday and I’m excited and pumped!!!! I hope the fans bring the noise Sunday!! We will have to fill our role as the 12th man on the field!!!

[...] Dawson Devitt (D3) wrote an interesting post today onSeason Prediction Competition and Birds-Fins Preview Part One <b>…</b>Here’s a quick excerpt [...]

Dean21

September 9th, 2009
2:04 am

got myself in trouble predicting the last time too early…this time, I’m going to take a moment to think things out…I don’t see us dropping that first game at home..now if it was at the fish bowl, things could be different..this game should set the tone for the season and hopefully send that bonecrusher affect throughout the league that the “Falcons aint scared, we aint never scared” My predications later…

Sarah B…okay, give up the tailgating spot…I’m starting the season off right, so D3 has told me one of his locations…

I think it’s best to hook the cagers up at the Carolina game..we can map out a set-point place to meet at the terror dome

Jonathan

September 9th, 2009
2:39 am

WK 1: ATL 30 MIA 21
WK 2: ATL WIN
WK 3: ATL WIN
WK 5: ATL WIN
WK 6: ATL WIN
KW 7: ATL LOSS
WK 8: ATL LOSS
WK 9: ATL WIN
WK 10: ATL LOSS
WK 11: ATL LOSS
WK 12: ATL WIN
WK 13: ATL WIN
WK 14: ATL WIN
WK 15: ATL WIN
WK 16: ATL WIN
WK 17: ATL LOSS (we never win down there ;( )

11-5

Ed

September 9th, 2009
2:46 am

Falcons – Dolphins Win. Falcons 34 – Dolphins 31
Falcons – Panthers Win
Falcons – Patriots Loss
Falcons – 49ers Win
Falcons – Bears Win
Falcons – Cowboys Loss
Falcons – Saints – Loss
Falcons – Redskins Win
Falcons – Pantherss Win
Falcons – Giants Loss
Falcons – Bucs Win
Falcons – Eagles Win
Falcons – Saints Loss
Falcons – Jets Win
Falcons – Bills Win
Falcons – Bucs Win

11-5

Ed

September 9th, 2009
2:53 am

Basically I could have taken one of two avenues of thinking in regards to the Falcons upcoming season. As concerned as I am about the defense I first had them pegged at 8-8. Then I took a look at each opponent and decided to give the home squad the benefit of doubt.The key will be the growth of our DB’s in particular as to have things will go.

[...] from teeing it up in the Terror-Dome against the Algonquin Dolphins for real. Excerpt from:  Season Prediction Competition and Birds-Fins Preview Part One … Posted in Football, Uncategorized | Tags: against-the, against-the-miami, also-the, [...]

JJ

September 9th, 2009
7:01 am

Sarah B, congrats ‘again’ on winning the pole, its a nascar thing. The funniest sh_t I’ve read on here is WR smack talk to you. I hope you waxx him, bend him over and give him a spanking! lol- nothing but love WR.

As a rookie FF, I’m guessing our players have to be set before thurs. night game? If none of my players are on thurs. night teams, can I set my team on sunday before the games?

D3, are you serious about the miami game? Either the house CEO has loosend the beverage restrictions before thurs. or that last preseason game you went to has really rattled your confidence. Our (FF) teams match-up this sunday should be interesting – smack later!

JJ

September 9th, 2009
8:35 am

WEEK 1 – CAGE FANTASY FOOTBALL:

- BlackTalon vs. Unca’ Bob
- Seminole Warrior vs. Stirg
- Sarah B. vs. Gene
- jason vs. WR
- JJ vs. D3

John Waynesworld

September 9th, 2009
8:55 am

Falcons vs. Dolphins – Win (Falcons 34, Dolphins 31)
Our zone defense will win the day keeping the wildcat in the litterbox.
Falcons vs. Panthers – Win
Put a corner and a safety on Steve Smith and we win.
Falcons @ Patriots – Loss
Tom Brady wins one (again) in the final minute.
Falcons @ 49ers – Win
It’s a rout with the Niners already displaying some infighting.
Falcons vs. Bears – Win
Everybody thinks it is Chicago’s payback game but Abraham has other plans.
Falcons @ Cowboys – Win
Falcons are flying high here and hold the cow pies under 20.
Falcons @ Saints – Loss
The great New Orleans fan base rocks the house and Brees rocks us.
Falcons vs. Redskins – Win
It’s a shutout for our “D”.
Falcons @ Panthers – Loss
Agree with D3, Panthers run roughshod and kill our defense’s mo.
Falcons @ Giants – Loss
Defense continues to struggle against Eli and Co.
Falcons vs. Bucs – Win
Nothing like the Bucs to cure a losing streak. We win big here.
Falcons vs. Eagles – Loss
Emotions run too high here and McNabb comes up huge in a close loss for the Falcons.
Falcons vs. Saints – Loss
It’s that Brees guy again.
Falcons @ Jets – Win
Sanchez will be long gone and the Jets will already be planning hunting trips.
Falcons vs. Bills – Win
We will win this one without our superstars and T.O. doesn’t even play.
Falcons @ Bucs – Win
No starters in this one either but we win on Redman’s passing and onto the playoffs!
10-6 (NFC South Champs)

Sarah B

September 9th, 2009
9:08 am

JJ yes you must have your team set before the game starts. If no one is playing Thursday you have until Sunday at 1.

WR

September 9th, 2009
9:09 am

D3, it might be to early to officially send out the search and rescue squad but we better put them on call, haven’t heard from Seminole since those hurricanes blew through, I’m starting to worry a bit, I will begin the calls to Grady and Emory later on today to check on the status of potential cardiac patience admittance it was that kind of game.

JJ, what kind I say, between you and the playa I feel the love, well, not so much. I will thank you in the playa for the birthday wishes though, even though I will continue to look out for that knife that ya’ll are preparing to stick in my back, nothing but love my friend but have to keep one eye open when it comes to you and the playa. By the way when it comes to Sarah, she knows what it is.

My Falcons season predictions:

Falcons-Fins, W 27-20
Falcons-Cats, W 31-17
Falcons-Pats, L 38-24
Falcons-49ers, W 34-13
Falcons-Bears, W 24-14
Falcons-Cowboys L 28-17
Falcons-Saints L 41-24
Falcons-Skins W 35-14
Falcons-Cats W 20-17

mryan

September 9th, 2009
9:12 am

MRyan’s Season Picks
Falcons – Dolphins Win. Falcons 27 – Dolphins 21
Falcons – Panthers Win
Falcons – Patriots Loss
Falcons – 49ers Win
Falcons – Bears Win
Falcons – Cowboys Loss
Falcons – Saints – Win
Falcons – Redskins Win
Falcons – Panthers Loss
Falcons – Giants Loss
Falcons – Bucs Win
Falcons – Eagles Win
Falcons – Saints Loss
Falcons – Jets Loss
Falcons – Bills Win
Falcons – Bucs Win
End Record 10-6
Big fan of all of you fellow posters. Nice community of Falcons fans. Good to be a part of it.
SarahB: something sexy about seeing a woman’s love for the Falcons.
D3: as always, keep up the good work.

WR

September 9th, 2009
9:12 am

Falcons-Giants- L
Falcons-Bucs- W
Falcons-Eagles-W
Falcons-Saints-W
Falcons-Jets-L
Falcons-Bills-W
Falcons-Bucs-W

Final Prediction 11-5

Sarah B

September 9th, 2009
9:16 am

Falcons – Dolphins Win. Falcons 27 – Dolphins 21
Falcons – Kittens Win
Falcons – Patriots Loss
Falcons – 49ers Win
Falcons – Bears Win
Falcons – Cowgirls Win
Falcons – Saints – Loss
Falcons – Redskins Win
Falcons – Kittens Loss
Falcons – Giants Loss
Falcons – Bucs Win
Falcons – Eagles Win
Falcons – Saints Win
Falcons – Jets Win
Falcons – Bills Win
Falcons – Bucs Win
End Record 12-4

Playoffs Baby!!!

OK Iggles game is a wing and a prayer… We don’t have a good record there – well even here. Everybody be loud that Sunday!!!

Yup

September 9th, 2009
9:26 am

12-4. I’m with you Sarah B!!!! Been saying that since the schedule came out.

SPS

September 9th, 2009
9:33 am

Miami Dolphins W 30-20
Carolina Panthers W
@ New England Patriots L
@ San Francisco 49ers W
Chicago Bears W
@ Dallas Cowboys L
@ New Orleans Saints L
Washington Redskins W
@ Carolina Panthers L
@ New York Giants L
Tampa Bay Buccaneers W
Philadelphia Eagles L
New Orleans Saints W
@ New York Jets W
Buffalo Bills W
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers W
10-6

Lil'Dave

September 9th, 2009
10:14 am

Falcons – Dolphins Win. Falcons 35 – Dolphins 14
Falcons – Panthers Win
Falcons – Patriots Win
Falcons – 49ers Win
Falcons – Bears Loss
Falcons – Cowboys Win
Falcons – Saints – Loss
Falcons – Redskins Win
Falcons – Pantherss Loss
Falcons – Giants Loss
Falcons – Bucs Win
Falcons – Eagles Win
Falcons – Saints Loss
Falcons – Jets Win
Falcons – Bills Win
Falcons – Bucs Win

11-5
and Yes, we beat the Pat’s because they have lost to many starters on D.

A Realist

September 9th, 2009
10:15 am

Let’s ALL rock the Dome on Sunday. There needs to be so much noise the entire game that the Miami offense can’t even hear the plays being called. The 12th MAN IS NEEDED!!!

The Falcons record in 2009 will be 10-6.

GO FALCONS!!!!!

Sarah B

September 9th, 2009
10:18 am

Lil'Dave

September 9th, 2009
10:19 am

Haha do I get extra points if we beat the Patriot’s. I think I’m the only one that thinks we can sneak in there and come away with a win. Plus, it’ll still be warm… When was the last time Ryan played in cold weather? Maybe college? Something to think about….

Sarah B

September 9th, 2009
10:22 am

A realist – I’ll be there and loud too!

Lil'Dave

September 9th, 2009
11:04 am

Thanks for the link Sarah…great little article!

Russ

September 9th, 2009
11:06 am

vs. Dolphins (W 34-10)
vs. Panthers (W)
@ New England (L)
@ San Franciso (W)
vs. Bears (W)
@ Dallas (L)
@ New Orleans (W)
vs. Redskins (W)
@ Carolina (L)
@ N.Y. Giants (L)
vs. Bucs (W)
vs. Eagles (W)
vs. Saints (W)
@ N.Y. Jets (W)
vs. Bills (W)
@ Tampa Bay (W)

12-4 and Divsions Champs. Playoffs: NFC Champs and lose in Superbowl.

Nookah

September 9th, 2009
11:31 am

Greetings Cagers!!!! This is a great blog D3. Love these predictions. It will let us know where the sentiment of Falcon fans is concentrated. Here are my picks:

vs Fins – 31-17 (W)
vs Pths – (W)
@ Pats – (L) – just
@ 49ers – (W) –
vs Bears – (L)
vs – Boys – (W)
@ Saints – (L)
vs Skins – (W)
@ Pths – (L)
@ Giants – (L)
vs Buccs – (W)
vs Eagles – (W)
vs Saints – (W)
@ Jets – (L)
vs Bills (W)
vs Buccs – (W)

Falcons go 10-6 and win the NFC South. Downfall will be those 4 teams we face after their bye weeks but we come out of that 2-2. Even though we are a better team than the Panthers we always play very close games with them and we will split the series with both them and the ‘Aints.

Go Falcons!!!!

Nuff respect everytime!!!!!

John Waynesworld

September 9th, 2009
11:42 am

Nice article, Sarah. Sounds like we will be knee deep in nickel backs until further notice. Hopefully one or two of the guys will shine through in the first few games. I’m betting on the new guy Williams to be another anchor along with Coleman to steer the young uns.

I think it would be a good idea, since we are severly lacking in interceptions, for BVG or Coach Smith to put a payday on the first interception of the season. Nothing outrageous, just a small gift, but the “calling out” so to speak for just one INT should give the secondary some fun incentive to grab that first pick.

WR

September 9th, 2009
11:50 am

Nice article Sarah, it appears even sports analysis are as worried as we are about the Falcons secondary.

Seminole, where are you my friend, its only one game and the good thing is that it was the first game of the year, yeah I know the Jackets are on the Noles schedule but thats later in the year so just breath for now, yes the beat downs are coming, but the Noles look to be on their way back. Besides the touch down drop PONDER this (pun intended), the Noles showed outstanding speed and quickness, outside of the QB that is a really young team full of thoroughbreds, problem is that it ran into the U, and Miami played like the U of old. Whatever your thinking just back away from the trigger, its not worth it, the darkest day is just before the dawn, and Tech hasn’t been to Tallahassee yet so you haven’t seen your darkest days, but trust me the dawn is coming,LOL.

As for I beloved birds, there are so many games that give the appearance that they could go either way. Im not sold on Cutler and his new anemic receiving corp, Dallas and Romo suffer from bypolar disorder, as long as Delhomme is the QB for Carolina any team has a chance, yes New Orleans improved their defense but what looks good on paper rarely looks good in reality. Tom Terrific is who he is, but the birds get them early before the foxworth cold sets in so there’s a chance, the Eagles are the Eagles, any game can go anyway when considering the Eagles. Other then those teams, and even considering the state of the Falcons defense, I don’t see the fear that most see, but I could be wrong and it all starts in about 5 days.

BlackTalon

September 9th, 2009
11:52 am

Falcons – Dolphins Win. Falcons 31 – Dolphins 24
Falcons – Panthers Win
Falcons – Patriots Win
Falcons – 49ers Loss
Falcons – Bears Win
Falcons – Cowboys Win
Falcons – Saints – Loss
Falcons – Redskins Win
Falcons – Panthers Win
Falcons – Giants Loss
Falcons – Bucs Win
Falcons – Eagles Win
Falcons – Saints Loss
Falcons – Jets Loss
Falcons – Bills Win
Falcons – Bucs Win

Final regular season record of 10/6

Boom Dizzle

September 9th, 2009
11:53 am

That under predicting comment is the problem with this city! Lets not have high expectations for this team. There’s nothing wrong with high expectations, especially for a team that improved on both sides of the ball.

This team will be 11 – 5 when all is said and done, the offense will carry us through the early part of the season, the defense (somewhat) catches up in the second half…….

John Waynesworld

September 9th, 2009
12:05 pm

For you Miami/FSU guys, I have to say that your last game against each other was actually fun to watch and reminded me of the old days when those games between you had national implications. I saw quality quarterback play and quality kids on both sides with good composure. It was great to see.

Welcome back. We all knew it was just a matter of time.

SeminoleWarrior

September 9th, 2009
12:07 pm

What’s up Cage fam….

Back after an extra day to recover from a heart breaking loss on Monday night. That was not the way I wanted to spend my birthday but it was a hell of a game between my Noles and those dreaded ‘Canes. I’m proud of the fight in both teams, especially with them being as young as they are. Have no fear, the ‘Noles are far from being done. Count on that!!

WR, my ACC brother, thanks for the care. Even the little Warrior is catching crap for it and he is deployed. At least they got the game over there in the theater so all is well. The ACC will rise!!!

D3, great topic as usual. Stand by for my posting.

Prayers remain with Unca Bob and his family.