Take in a deep breath and enjoy that we made it here: football is only days away. We spent the entire offseason discussing draft plans, free agency, the cap, roster, scheme changes, and random guesses about how the team will play. That nonsense is over because real football starts on Sunday.
This is the beautiful time where optimism is in no short supply before the games actually matter.
Let’s circle up on the best damn news about the Falcons.
Kendall Sheffield heads to IR
Sheffield was rumored to be heading to injured reserve a week ago. It is finally official. It was only last offseason many expected Sheffield to take developmental leap after flashing in his rookie season. Instead he fell down the depth chart and looked rough. Now there is a new coaching staff and Sheffield is starting the year on injured reserve. He needs his luck to turn around fast if he wants to stick on the roster. No word yet on who grabs his roster spot.
Eagles offense vs. Falcons defense
Do you have any idea what to expect out of Jalen Hurts or Atlanta’s hodgepodge defense? I sure don’t. Luckily, David Walker did the heavy lifting and sketched out the match up.
Watch what Chuck Smith has to say about this team
The Falcoholic Live show is getting so exclusive that I can’t even get an invite. Instead of bring on this very experienced blogger, Kevin and crew brought on former Falcons pass rusher and current defensive line coach Chuck Smith to get his impressions on Dean Pees, Dante Fowler, and the 2021 Falcons.
Falcons name team captains
The team named five team captains for the season, with one additional captain to be named each game. No surprise on the players: they are all vets who have been on the team for quite some time.
Keith Smith is going to be a weapon?
It was not long ago that Kyle Shanahan used Patrick DiMarco so creatively he was an easy Pro Bowl player. Steve Sarkisian and Dirk Koetter used fullbacks significantly less creatively. The good news is Arthur Smith has experience running a similar scheme... which honestly makes the hiring of Sarkisian and Koetter perplexing. Anyways, we have seen some familiar concepts from Smith that we did not see under Sarkisian or Koetter. Another good sign is Arthur Smith explained why fullback Keith Smith is listed as tight end. Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Keith Smith will have a lot of roles.
Looking back on the history between the teams shows a lot of Falcons losses. The Andy Reid years were tough on Atlanta. Of course, nothing compares to that weird almost-interception that bounced off of Keanu Neal’s leg. The Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl. The Falcons have not been back since.
Falcons are favorites to win
Historically, the worst spot for the Falcons to be in is where they are predicted to win. Last year, the Falcons had quite a stretch beating the spread when the team was expected to lose. The spread is primarily due to home field advantage, meaning Vegas has no clue what to expect. Of course, if you bet on the Falcons, you already know this as you read this article on your neighbor’s wifi or a public computer at your local library.
Looking ahead at the Eagles
The Eagles have been bad, but a bit like the Falcons, have an opportunity to bounce back after a down 2020. Despite a bad year, Philly has a surprising amount of talent on the roster. Find out more in Dave Choate’s Philly review.