In years past, even if the Falcons had made a deep playoff run, I think we’d expect experts to slot them significantly lower than we felt was warranted. That’s because the perception of the Falcons rarely matched their record during the Mike Smith years, fair or not.
Now, though? The Falcons impressed enough that NFL.com has seen their free agency, their draft, and has decided they’re still worthy of being ranked the second-best team in the NFL. I support this.
There’s no reason to think otherwise, if I’m being frank. The Falcons may well slip this year, but they’re one of the most talented teams in the NFL, they appear to have added to that talent base, and they’ve got the reigning NFL MVP, the league’s best wide receiver, and the team’s best running back tandem to go with a burgeoning defense. I’m as optimistic heading into this year as I’ve been in quite some time, even if I’m not predicting a franchise-best regular season or anything.
So let’s call that a very fair ranking. May the Falcons prove to be worthy of #1.