Obviously, everyone hopes the Falcons will be better this season than they were last season. A hot start, with the team jumping out to a 6-1 record, gave fans hope. The six-game skid that followed was demoralizing. Still, under the leadership of coach Dan Quinn, the Falcons finished the season 8-8, including a Week 16 win over the previously-undefeated Carolina Panthers. It was a stronger finish than the Falcons had managed in either of the previous two seasons.
Training camp is approaching, and we'll soon have a firmer idea of how this year's team is taking shape. In the coming days, we'll be breaking down each position group and examining whether they'll be better, worse or the same as last season. Before that begins, let's consider whether the team as a whole will be better, worse or the same in 2016.
Offensively, the Falcons certainly need to improve. The team struggled in the red zone and turnovers were a real problem for the Falcons last season. Perhaps with another offseason to settle into Kyle Shanahan's scheme, as well as the additions of Alex Mack and Mohamed Sanu, the offense will be improved. There are indications, though, that this scheme isn't the best fit for Matt Ryan. That could be a factor for this team.
On defense, the Falcons have added some speed, and we may see two rookies starting, with De'Vondre Campbell at weakside linebacker and Deion Jones potentially taking over for Paul Worrilow in the middle. The speed is an upgrade, but the inexperience may be a factor, especially with another rookie, first rounder Keanu Neal, slated to take over at strong safety. It's also unclear if this team will actually be able to disrupt opposing passers this season. Fingers crossed.
Cast your vote in our poll below, and discuss whether you think the team will be better, worse or the same in 2016 in the comments.