We're quickly approaching the regular season, and y'all know what that means: it's time for some half-cocked guesswork!
Take a deep breath, because by now, you've seen what this team has to offer. You know your stuff, for the most part. First, you endured six long months without meaningful football. Good for you, we know that family time wasn't easy. Sure, you had The Falcoholic, where we can squeeze marginally palatable content out of pretty much anything Roddy White says. Then came training camp, where you listened to endless Mike Smith coachspeak. But now the regular season is in sight. While the roster bubble still needs to sort itself out, everything is coming together.
In my opinion, the Falcons' success this year rests squarely on Matt Ryan's shoulders. It all goes through him. As he goes, the team goes. Maybe I'm oversimplifying, but that's how I feel. Conference games cost the Falcons each of their three losses last year, and I'm expecting more of the same in 2013. If the Falcons can go 4-2 in conference play, that'd be just fine with me. The Patriots, Seahawks, Packers, Redskins, and 49ers games represent the other real challenges in the schedule. In my mind, we need to win three out of five of those games to make a playoff run. All in all, the latter half of the schedule is a real gauntlet, but with this roster and coaching staff, it's nothing the Falcons can't handle. It all comes down to execution.
Now, of course, it's your turn, and I'm curious what y'all think. Where are the real challenges in the Falcons' schedule? Which games are we likely to lose, and what sort of record can we expect to muster? Go!