Bandwagon alert! Lots of folks really like the 2010 Falcons

A substantive reason to be cheerful: Dunta Robinson (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

A substantive reason to be cheerful: New man Dunta Robinson (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Lots of folks were saying lots of nice things about the Falcons this time a year ago, and that was understandable. The Falcons were coming off an improbable playoff  season and were a feel-good story. Today the Falcons are coming off a 9-7 season in which they were eliminated from postseason consideration with three games to go … and lots of folks are still saying lots of nice things about their chances in 2010.

From Michael Kun of the Washington Post’s NFL blog The League: “I’ll give you a non-playoff team [from 2009] that’s going to go all the way to the NFC Championship game, barring a major injury. The Atlanta Falcons.”

From Andy Benoit, writing for the New York Times’ NFL blog The Fifth Down:

Let’s see: Modest success the previous year; no burden of high expectations; distinct offensive and defensive identity; star quarterback; and improvements in most key areas of weakness. Sounds pretty good. And we haven’t even mentioned the stability at the top (another trait the Saints, Steelers and Giants all shared, by the way). Owner Arthur Blank and GM Thomas Dimitroff run their program with great chemistry. Perhaps even Super Bowl caliber chemistry.

Let the record reflect that Benoit still tabs the Falcons to finish second in the NFC South and suggests they “may still be a player or two short of Super Bowl caliber.” The greater point is that enthusiasm for this team coming off a (slightly) disappointing season seems every bit as great in many circles as it did for one that had seen everything break right in 2008.

Browsing the magazine rack at Kroger yesterday, I noted that the Sporting News Pro Football yearbook picks the Falcons to win the NFC South, which is the home of the reigning Super Bowl titlist. And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that these glowing forecasts mesh with my own. Last month I picked the Falcons to go 12-4, win their division and play Dallas for the NFC title.

I am, as we’re all too aware, thick as a brick. But even a goofball feels encouraged when more clever folks are seeing the same thing he is. At least this goofball does.

193 comments Add your comment

Todd

July 21st, 2010
9:35 am

First! I like them too

Todd

July 21st, 2010
9:35 am

My first first. What timing!

Andy

July 21st, 2010
9:37 am

I think Colin Cowherd on espn radio has them going to the nfc champ game also.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

July 21st, 2010
9:39 am

I like our chances this year. Couple of key players coming off injuries and Ryan/Turner should be much better this year. Dunta’s addition was huge and the schedule, especially in our own division, works in our favor.

Mr. Obvious

July 21st, 2010
9:40 am

RE: “There is just something SPECIAL about these [2007] Falcons.” – Mark Bradley, AUG 2007

F-105 Thunderchief

July 21st, 2010
9:43 am

Thanks for the reminder. Time to hit the magazine rack for a season preview myself. Been doing it since I was a kid and Bartkowski was a rookie.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 21st, 2010
9:46 am

QB- Heading into his 3 year also thats the magic year for development. Last season was normal a team on the rise, having a step back only to emerge the following season. This is the year of the Bird!

Ryno

July 21st, 2010
9:46 am

Everyone is excited! I heard Matt Ryan on the radio this morning while driving to work and you could tell he can’t wait for camp to open up.

Mark Bradley

July 21st, 2010
9:50 am

Kudos, Todd.

We ought to give out certificates for “first.”

WonderDawg

July 21st, 2010
9:52 am

Hayseed Dixie

July 21st, 2010
9:52 am

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb saying we’re watching an Atlanta Legend in progress with Matt Ryan.

It’s hard to not like the Falcons with the personnel moves they make.

I wish Arthur Blank had received that MLS franchise. What a fantastic owner.

FALCONS SORRY

July 21st, 2010
9:55 am

MARK BRADLY! YOU HAVE DONE LOST YOUR MIND! THE ONLY WAY THIS SORRY TEAM IS GOING TO THE SUPPER BOWL OR THE NFC CHAMPION GAME IS ON GRAY HOUND! YOU KNOW THE ONLY REASON THE SO CALL QUARTERBACK MATTY HOPELESS IS EVEN ON THIS TEAM IS BECAUSE HE IS BLANKS ILL LEGITIMATE SON FROM BOSTON WHERE BLANK FROM TOO AND BECAUSE DADDY FELT GUILTY AND WANTED TO GIVE HIS BABY BOY A JOB! YOU KNOW NOT EVEN BLANK IS STUPID ENOUGH TO GET RID OF THE BEST QB TO EVER PLAY THE GAME UNLESS IT TO HELP HIS OWN FAMILY! BLANK PROBABLY KNEW THE NFL WOULD INVESTGATE ABOUT JUST DUMPING FOR MIKE FOR NO REASON! THAT PROBABLY IS WHY BLANK SET HIM UP TO GET HIM ARRESTED SO THAT BLANK COULD GET OUT OF HIS CONTRACT AND HAVE MONEY FOR HIS LITTLE BABY! YEAH! CRYIN BABY RYAN! RYAN-BLANK IS WHAT IT NEED SAY ON HIS JERSY! MIKE GOT HIS PAY BACK LAST DECEMBER WHEN HE CAME BACK TO HIS HOUSE AND SHOW BLANK WHO THE REAL OWNER OF THE FALCONS AND THE ATL IS! BLANK IS THE ONE THAT SHOULD HAVE WENT TO PRISON AND NOT TAKING CARE OF HIS KID AND NOT MIKE! THE AJC LIKE TO TALK ABOUT MIKE ALL THE TIME! THEY BETTER TALK ABOUT HIM GOOD WHEN IT COME THAT MIKE VICK CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES! IT GOOD THAT YOU GOT USED TO WEARING ORANGE AT HOMES DEPOT BLANK BECAUSE THAT WHAT YOU WILL BE WEARING ALL THE TIME IN PRISON ONCE THE TRUTH COME OUT! COACH SMITTY! YOU BETTER WATCH YOUR BACK TOO! IF BLANK HAVE ANY LITTLE GIRLS COMING OUT TO CLAIM HE THEY FATHER THE FALCONS MAY JUST HAVE THE FIRST WOMAN FOOTBALL COACH! YOU BETTER START USING PROTECTION SO NO BODY ELSE HAVE TO GET FRAMED AND LOOSE THEY JOB BECAUSE OF YOU BLANK! LET HOPE SHE TAKE AFTER HER MOTHER AND LOOK BETTER ON THAT SIDE LINE THAN YOU DO BLANK! MAKE UP!

Herschel Talker

July 21st, 2010
9:56 am

Oh gosh. FALCONS SORRY is back. And I thought it was I who was angry at times.

Mark Bradley

July 21st, 2010
9:58 am

Falcons Sorry is correct: I have lost my mind. But that happened a while ago, I’m afraid.

crymeariver

July 21st, 2010
10:03 am

Falcons Sorry is back out of jail again?
What ever happened to Zell Miller’s 3 strikes and your out law?
Oh well, I guess it must be the overcrowding of the prison system.

Alex

July 21st, 2010
10:03 am

Andy, Colin actually has them playing in the Super Bowl against the Ravens

crymeariver

July 21st, 2010
10:05 am

Maybe Ga. should legalize the magic herb, and free up some jail space for him.

Alex

July 21st, 2010
10:05 am

Oh and Matt Ryan is the TRUTH!! Kid will blow up this season.

KILLING DOGS IS MY BUSINESS, AND FELLAS....BUSINESS IS BOOMING

July 21st, 2010
10:07 am

Falcons Sorry must be a Mike Vick fan

Andy

July 21st, 2010
10:08 am

Alex Thanks for clarifying. That’s even better.

FalconUGAFan

July 21st, 2010
10:10 am

I like em too. Since 1965 even….

Andy

July 21st, 2010
10:10 am

I think everything is set up this season for a nice run as long as we don’t have any devastating unjuries. We have many kep players back as well as solid offseason pickups and the mizzou tandem who i think will feed off each other and want to excel and win. I think we will have a top 6 defense this year. My guess is 13-3 and hopefully the super bowl.

Gee, Killing Dogs...

July 21st, 2010
10:12 am

….in the immortal of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, “YA THINK?”

Well, Mark...

July 21st, 2010
10:14 am

…at least part of your story is correct – you are a goofball…

Pi$$onaDawg

July 21st, 2010
10:14 am

The only thing the NFL should do like College football is to have the game on the same weeks every year. We know Bama & UT play 3rd week in OCT. and Uga & UF play basically the same week every year. I think the NFL could make schedules basically the same every year. Some teams get to play a winners schedule and some play a losers schedule. I would the Falcons to play the Saints halloween weekend and the last game before the playoffs. which game is the home team rotates every year but the game is the same. I just makes planning the year so much easier for fans, coaches, and players. what do you think about the NFL scheduling MARK Bradley?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, D. Orlando Ledbetter and Brian Morton, Adam Schultz. Adam Schultz said: Stay cautious. RT @MarkBradleyAJC: Bandwagon alert! Lots of folks (besides me) are high on the 2010 Atlanta #Falcons. http://bit.ly/crliLa [...]

Hawk n the Ham

July 21st, 2010
10:16 am

Dear Arthur Blank,

PLEASE buy the Hawks from that sorry ASG.

Sincerly,
All Hawks Fans

Ryder

July 21st, 2010
10:16 am

I’m picking them to also make the Super Bowl, even though a lot of factors have to break their way. Most importantly, their key stars (Ryan, Turner, Baker, White) must remain healthy.

Jack G.

July 21st, 2010
10:17 am

One of the big weaknesses of this team is QB. Not Ryan, but backup. Ryan goes down our backups are not real quality.

Bull Schmitt

July 21st, 2010
10:17 am

I sure hope those injuries to Peria Jerry and William Moore are past issues and that both come back strong this season. Go Falcons!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 21st, 2010
10:19 am

WOW! Does he really believe all that crap he typed? Please tell me thats a joke, because if someone REALLY believes that then they need to be taken straight to the looney bin.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 21st, 2010
10:19 am

Mark pnothing for being FIRST!!! maybe a tshirt for being First with a great comment. Being FIRST and saying nothing is like Dale Earnhrdt Jr riding around the track not winning and then being interview. It means nothing.

extremus

July 21st, 2010
10:25 am

I have a feeling the 2010 Falcons will have a good-sized chip on their shoulder after all the things that went wrong last year; they’re going to be out to prove they are indeed a championship-caliber team. And barring injury, nobody in the league will want to play them, especially in the playoffs and especially not in the Georgia Dome.

GO FALCONS!!!!

Tim Tebow's Tears

July 21st, 2010
10:25 am

hahahaa did anyone actually read Falcons Sorry’s post? Probably the funniest thing I’ve seen in awhile. Someone get this guy his own column. You can’t even make this stuff up. Well played sir…

ReddJonn68

July 21st, 2010
10:30 am

Anyway Sorry. This team has as good a chance as any, & if we want to talk sorry we have never had the type of talent Dallast ( yes i mean as in dead last ) has had the last 4yrs. Don’t forget N. O. was very lucky & caught hella breaks last yr, so it’s anybody’s guess to who will be the surprise Div leader this year. I say the Falcons, if we stay healthy we can compete with any of them. This is the 3rd yr with Matt in this system and the running game is solid, if we can get anything in the return game or some spark out of Norwood book the playoffs. Everybodys worried about the defense, I think those guys know their roles in Smittys system by now, if not they won’t see the field. NFC Championship game Atlanta vs Dallast Go Birds !!!!!!

Dawg-Catcher

July 21st, 2010
10:30 am

Hey FalconsSorry!! – your boy Vick can’t even start for the Eagles – he is basically used as a novelty act by them on trick plays!! Best quarterback to play the game my A@@.

Angus

July 21st, 2010
10:30 am

C’mon Lowcounty, be nice. Bradley, despite his faults, is the best sports columnist around.

And besides, what else am I supposed to do during conference calls?

Sonny Clusters

July 21st, 2010
10:37 am

Certificates? We don’t need no stinkin’ certificates. (apologies)

What is called for here is tee-shirts. “We was first on the Bradley Blog”

Wearing a tee shirt would quickly identify us a bloggers here and would warn unsuspecting people of our presence. Could do a lot of good.

We could all come to Dunwoody and pick up the shirts. Say hello. Meet Anne Cox Chambers if she’s in town. She could wear a tee shirt. Lots of possibilities.

Mark Bradley

July 21st, 2010
10:38 am

T-shirts, eh? I’m taking that under advisement, Sonny.

Mark Bradley

July 21st, 2010
10:40 am

Thanks, Angus. But I’m not entirely certain Lowcountry was referring to yours truly. (He might well have been, but I’m thinking he was commenting on a previous commenter.)

GEORGIA

July 21st, 2010
10:46 am

as long aas everybody stayz healthy we should be just as good if not better than the saints but the top 5 reasons are
1.matt ryan proggression
2.healthy turner
3.dunta rob living up 2 his contract
4.secondary
5.pas rush

Bear 14

July 21st, 2010
10:47 am

Falcon sorry must be a punk,talk big and luvs a murder,great guy u are candy as-,go Falcons

ATL Fan

July 21st, 2010
10:52 am

How about a hot fudge sundae for being first. Works for me.

Tailback U

July 21st, 2010
10:57 am

Mark I agree with the assessment that the Falcons stand a good
chance to make the NFC championship game. Not enough is said
however that key injuries and their overall comparitive depth
will be as much as a determining factor as anything. What
position from a depth standpoint or what key player othet than
Ryan concerns you most in this regard ?

dunwoody dawg

July 21st, 2010
11:00 am

I agree with you Mark and with a lot of the other guys on here. I really think the Falcons have all of the ingredients in place to have a very good year. The one thing you mentioned briefly that I see as the reason for the most optimism is the schedule. Last year we went 9-7 and that schedule was absolutely brutal. Has anybody else noticed that whenever we have a good year, the next year the league schedules us a Bataan death march? Do they do that to everbody that makes the playoffs?

Angus

July 21st, 2010
11:03 am

I wouldn’t have been funny otherwise (maybe it wasn’t funny?).

Anyway, about the topic at hand, these Falcons kind of parallel these Braves. Not much glitz and glam, slow and steady wins the race. I like it.

Angus

July 21st, 2010
11:03 am

“It”, not “I”

Mark Bradley

July 21st, 2010
11:06 am

Michael Turner, Tailback U. Then Curtis Lofton.

TheAntiMe

July 21st, 2010
11:08 am

I’m very encouraged but I hope that T.D. has a viable plan B at Place Kicker. As we very well know, that weakness was what kept the Falcons from making the playoffs last season, in spite of the statistically-moribund defense.

This should be a fun season to be a Bird watcher, let’s tee it up already!

SeenThisB4

July 21st, 2010
11:09 am

The Saints were coming off an 8-8 season last year, just food for thought.

The reality is that the NFC South is a two horse race, Tampa is making strides, but they’re so far back they won’t be a factor this year, and Carolina is in such a shambles, that they won’t either inspite of their supreme effort at revamping their team.

No, this is a two horse race for the NFC South, New Orleans and Atlanta. And even the least experienced, unbiased fan would be picking the Super Bowl Champ as the favorite. Even so, Atlanta should be in position to control it’s own destiny for a wildcard slot. After that, it’s anybody’s game in the road to Dallas. Just a question of what city that road has to go thru to get to Dallas, my guess: New Orleans