The Falcons were embarrassingly bad against the rest of the NFC South in 2015. There was the 38-0 blowout loss to the Panthers, but also the crushing overtime loss to the Buccaneers, the other crushing loss to the Buccaneers that featured a Jameis Winston scramble, and the two losses to the Saints. The lone shining moment came when the Falcons beat the Panthers, marring their perfect season.
That's unacceptable for many reasons. Dan Quinn has promised a fast, physical team that doesn't make a bunch of careless mistakes, and while it's going to take some time to get to that ideal, the 2015 Falcons were slow, bad at tackling and error-prone in all five of their NFC South losses. Considering winning in the division is the best way to torpedo your rivals and clear your way to the NFC South crown, they simply have to be better.
And you know what? I anticipate they will be, even if they'll almost certainly have their rough stretches against the rest of their opponents. The Saints figure to be thoroughly mediocre again, the Buccaneers are unpredictable but barely beat Atlanta both times, and I'm expecting the Panthers to be something less than the world beaters they were a year ago. Put me down for .500 in the division.
How many wins will the Falcons achieve in the NFC South next season? Our Twitter poll from yesterday is below.
Poll time! How many games will the #Falcons win in the NFC South next year?— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) February 10, 2016