Let’s be blunt: A year ago the Falcons doomed themselves by showing too much hubris and making too many poor decisions. Despite everything that went wrong, they still finished 7-9, with a second half surge giving the team hope that they might be on a better track for 2020.
Since then, they’ve shed De’Vondre Campbell, Vic Beasley, Austin Hooper, and Wes Schweitzer, among others, but have added Todd Gurley, Dante Fowler Jr., and a pretty solid-looking draft class. With all those changes, surely expectations for the team have changed, as well.
Well, no. Per Oddschecker, the Falcons have an over/under set at 7.5 wins, which would put them right in the neighborhood of where they’ve been each of the past two seasons. They’re also being given the 19th-best odds to win the Super Bowl, meaning oddsmakers expect them to be right around the middle of the pack in the league this year, listing toward the crummy end of things. They’re also being given odds that suggest they’ll finish 3rd in the NFC South and 9th (just outside of the playoffs) in the NFC overall.
On paper, this is a bit surprising, given that I think we’d all agree this team is more talented than it was a year ago, my concerns with the absence of Campbell and Trufant notwithstanding. When you consider that the Falcons were at least expected to be solid each of the past two seasons and they underwhelmed both times out, however, it makes perfect sense that no one’s rushing out to anoint the Falcons this year. They’re going to have to prove it to earn respect, period.
A couple of other interesting items from Odddschecker:
- Ryan is being given the 18th-best odds to win MVP, which is definitely too low. Ryan in a Dirk Koetter offense isn’t the most appealing version of Ryan, but his supporting cast is loaded and he’s unlikely to scuffle as much as he did in 2019.
- A.J. Terrell is being given the 15th-best odds of winning Defensive Rookie of the Year, which also feels too low. It’s an open question how well he’ll fare in his rookie season, but he was a top draft pick who has looked very good this summer and is going to start Week 1, which at least puts him in a solid position.
Are you taking the over or under on this win total for 2020?