Well, before I copied all of this over to the window, I had it all looking nice and pretty. So for that I apologize for the messiness. However, without further ado, I present to you my hopes for a Friendly Falcoholic Future. This is a combination of my predictions for the rest of the season and the postseason as well as my thoughts about our needs that need to be addressed in the offseason through free agency and the draft.
ATL: NO: PHI: SEA: CHI: GB:
W@CAR Wvs.STL L@DAL L@SF WvsNE W@DET
W@SEA L@BAL W@NYG LvsATL W@MIN L@NE
WvsNO L@ATL WvsMIN L@TB LvsNYJ WvsNYG
WvsCAR WvsTB WvsDAL WvsSTL L@GB WvsCHI
14-2 11-5 11-5 7-9 11-5 11-5
Summary of Season:
ATL: Falcons win at Carolina and Seattle against lesser opponents. Beat the Saints at home on MNF, clinching home field and the division all in one glorious week. Play the reserves against Carolina and still win.
NO: Handle their business at home against STL and TB but lose two tough road games against BAL and ATL.
PHI: Lose to the resurging DAL team but take care of business the rest of the season on a typical Eagles end-of-the-season win streak.
SEA: Losing three of last four games and still win the division? At 7-9? That’s the NFC West for you, but regardless, the winner of that last game in Seattle wins the division, I think after the longest season of Bradford’s career, it will be SEA.
CHI: Trap game for NE after biggest game of the season followed by a win against a struggling MIN. Tough games to finish out the season though.
GB: Beat lowly DET and take care of business in Lambeau Field. Next to impossible to win in NE, especially since I have NE getting upset at home the week before.
With four teams at 11-5, I have no idea how the tiebreaker works. This is just what the ESPN Playoff Machine told me the seedings would be. I will take their word for it.
CHI@PHI- PHI 34-20. Philly is a tough team to beat, and the erratic Jay Cutler allows for a feeding frenzy for the opportunistic Philly secondary.
NO@SEA- NO 42-17. Playoff game in Seattle, but the Hawks are greatly overmatched against the defending Superbowl Champs.
NO@ATL- ATL 28-27. There are two teams I do not want to face in the playoffs. NO and PHI. Thank God it is at home. Beating the defending Super Bowl Champs three times in one season is a major accomplishment.
GB@ATL- ATL 31-24. No running game will hurt GB against the time-consuming offense the Falcons run. It has been a long season, and this will be one of the longest games for the Packers defense.
Super Bowl: PIT vs ATL: Yep, I’m calling a rematch of the first game of the season. This time, their quarterback is not Dennis Dixon. But this time, Matt Ryan isn’t confused by the Steelers D. He has a lot of film to look at and I believe the young quarterback gets the first of hopefully a few Super Bowl rings.
FINAL: ATL 27-PIT 21
Free Agency: I am going to assume that a lockout does not take place. First of all, a year without football would absolutely suck. Second of all, there is no way the owners let an entire season go down the drain. So, the guys I say we look to resign and potential free agents for us to look at.
Chris Redman- Solid backup with game experience. I think he likes it here and I like having him around.
Jason Snelling- Proved he can be a valuable asset out of the backfield. Can also handle a decent workload.
Michael Koenen- I like the guy. His numbers might have decreased a little but he is a solid punter also handling kickoff duties. I have no complaints.
Tyson Clabo- He is a solid player who gets the job done. He won’t play in the Pro Bowl but that also means he won’t be looking for a ridiculous salary.
Harvey Dahl- Again, does a lot of dirty work in the trenches to help keep the team running. I like him, and see no need to replace him.
Brent Grimes- I would love to see Grimes back in Atlanta. He has played fantastic this season. Solid corner with good experience.
Let Them Walk:
Jerious Norwood- I hate to say it, but the guy just can’t stay healthy. It’s time to move in a new direction and let him get a new start with another team.
Brian Williams- Just like with Finn, there is a young guy with loads of potential that is waiting to get his chance. It is time for the young guys to get their chance.
Guys to Look at Bringing In:
I’m not really sold on any of the guys that could really come in and be impact players right away. With teams like Tampa and Carolina starting youth movements, I would like to have some youthful guys of our own to be ready to compete in a few years as well. The draft is usually a cheap way of bringing in new, young talent. However, I will admit Dmitroff has brought in a big name free agent every offseason. Maybe this year, since we finally seem to have a majority of the pieces together, we will take the cheaper route.
I admit I have no idea what picks the Falcons have in the upcoming draft. I will update after the season when that information becomes more readily available. So instead, I will give the Falcons a pick per round just to give you an idea of what guys to look for and what range they will likely be targeted in.
Round 1- Jonathon Baldwin, PITT WR- I think we go offense here. Baldwin is big and strong, and has the ability to become Michael Jenkins replacement in a few years. Other possibilities: Basically if one of the big four WRs are available (either Floyd or Baldwin, Jones and Green will not be), I think that will be the pick. Could also look at tackle if there is a top-flight tackle available or even DE.
Round 2- Sam Acho, Texas DE- The guy has the size (6-3, 260) and the speed (4.72) to be a good DE in our 4-3 system. I think with the workouts in the NFL, he could bulk up a little to increase his ability against the run. He was a projected first round pick at one point, so I think he is good value late in the second round. Plus, he is a pretty smart academian in his own right.
Round 3- Clint Boling, UGA OG. He is a small guard who I believe has some experience at tackle as well. Could be very valuable as a replacement player in case anyone is hurt, and his ability to play multiple positions is appealing to me, and he is a local kid too.
Round 4- Nate Irving, NC State MLB. The kid is the leader of his team’s defense and has a knack for knowing where the ball is. Shows the ability to rush the quarterback when called upon. I could see him being a valuable asset on the team as a backup for Lofton.
Round 5-Derrick Locke, Kentucky RB/WR. The guy is the utility player that we seem to be lacking. He can run, catch, and even return kicks. Could be a missing piece to our offense. His size scares me a little, and he is recovering from an injury.
Round 6- Rob McGill, Louisiana Tech OT. You can never have too many guys fighting for a spot on the line in my opinion. Who knows, maybe McGill could turn out to be a solid project. He is big, and has decent quickness. Doesn’t have a lot of experience against elite players though.
Round 7- Weslye Saunders, South Carolina TE. He missed out on his entire senior season because of his dealings with an agent. While I thought about straying away from this kid, I also thought about his potential. He is huge (6-5, 272), has shown the ability to make a catch or two, and really, with a seventh round pick, what do we have to lose?
Well, these are my thoughts. If these are the events that transpire in the next few months, I will be a very happy Falcoholic. Let me know what you guys think, as far as my predictions for the rest of the season and the offseason moves.