As the N.F.L. preseason begins to wind down and opening day less than two weeks away disgruntled Falcons fans want to know if this is this the year. Despite the Falcons winning records the past three seasons and the highly publicized “Rise Up” campaigns, at the end of the day it’s all about getting that ring and winning a Super Bowl.
I consider myself a big fan of the game, but I will confess that I’m not much of a preseason fanatic. Now, it’s good to see the home team back on the gridiron after a long summer and get a look the modifications they’ve made, but dealing with the fact that the games don’t count just doesn’t sit well with me. However, I will say that despite the Falcons 1-2 preseason record, I like what I see so far. If I were a teacher and the Falcons were my students I’d give them a B- this preseason, and that’s being fair.
Despite losing back-to-back preseason games against the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals, the Falcons looked good against the Miami Dolphins and are expected to win their final preseason finale this Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
So my message to all Falcons fans is to stay optimistic about this year. I think this year in the N.F.C. South, with the bounty turmoil in New Orleans and with the Panthers and Bucs still young, the Falcons’ window in the division is open wider than ever. But the focus with this team is not on winning the division. It’s on finally winning in the postseason. That will come down to how well the Falcons’ offense adapt to new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter’s system. The prospects look good.
On paper the Falcons have constructed one of the soundest, richest rosters in the league. They’ve groomed what they believe is a franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, who spent the offseason preparing for the rigors of extra games. They have a top-five receiver in Roddy White, flanked by a second-year phenom, Julio Jones. Lining up between them is a future Hall of Fame tight end, Tony Gonzalez, and you can’t forget about running back Michael ‘The Burner’ Turner.
And the defense has gotten better too. With key defensive players such as star linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and a secondary featuring three big-name corners: Brent Grimes, Dunta Robinson and newbie Asante Samuel the Falcons are much better than they were a year ago.
I’m calling it now— the Falcons will win the N.F.C. South, get over the hump and win a playoff game, and, on top of that, I think they’ll make a legitimate run to be Super Bowl contenders.
Patch Local Voices bloggers are members of the community who write about the issues that matter most to them. They are not paid journalists. If you have a unique viewpoint, a question or something to say, consider being a Patch Local Voices blogger. It's easy. Simply click this link and start writing.