Authored by Rodney Southern in American Football
Published on 08-16-2009
The Atlanta Falcons have been steadily perceived as being a team on the rise since the day they drafted second year quarterback Matt Ryan. Last season, Ryan was everything that was advertised, and the Falcons also added a fantastic running back in Michael Turner. These moves led to a fantastic 2008, but still left them just short of the NFC South title. Have the Falcons done enough to take the next step in 2009?
Atlanta Falcons 2009 Offense
When one considers the fortunes of the Atlanta Falcons in 2009, it is not the offense they are concerned with. The Falcons are absolutely in position to be a terror for defenses in the NFL. They have Matt Ryan at quarterback, who played the position like a seasoned veteran last year. They have Michael Turner, who spent all year last year running over, past and around everyone they played. Finally, they have a legitimate All Star receiving threat in Roddy White. Add to all this that the Falcons also brought in the best tight end of all time in Tony Gonzalez, and the Falcons will score points with anybody.
Atlanta Falcons 2009 Defense
The Falcons defense is in shambles only because of the fact that almost all of them left. This is the only part of the Falcons that is truly an unknown going into 2009. They are going to rely heavily on new players at key positions, and one never knows how that might turn out. The Falcons return only six starters from 2008 on the defense. Luckily, they still have John Abraham, and Erik Coleman. They did add Mike Peterson at linebacker, and that will help as well. This unit is completely new, and will have to play above their heads for the Falcons to shine.
Atlanta Falcons 2009 Special Teams
The combination of Harry Douglas and Jerious Norwood have the returning duties in order. They are both “go the distance” types of returners. Jason Elam is solid, and punter Michael Koenen has the best hang time in the league. Special teams are in good hands in Atlanta.
Atlanta Falcons 2009 Coaching
What a rookie season Mike Smith had as coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He was able to take a great mix of young and old and blend them into an NFL winner. That was no small task in the wake of the Michael Vick scandal. This season, Smith and the Falcons are trying to have two year winning seasons in a row in 43 years.
Atlanta Falcons 2009 Prediction
The Atlanta Falcons are going to win their share of games in 2009, but they are simply too new on defense to expect a repeat of last season. They will likely win 8 or 9 games, but that will not be enough to win the division, nor will it be enough for the playoffs.