The new NFL season is casting its shadow and hardly any division is expected with as much excitement this year as the NFC South. Tom Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who upgraded vigorously. But is that enough against the class leader New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees? And what are the chances for the Carolina Panthers, also completely turned inside out? The SPOX-Preview zur NFC South.
NFL-Preview: Atlanta Falcons
- Balance: 7-9
- The most important approaches: EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., TE Hayden Hurst, RB Todd Gurley, S Deone Bucannon, CB A.J. Terrell, DT Marlon Davidson, CB Darqueze Dennard, Laquon Treadwell
- The most important departures: TE Austin Hooper, RB Devonta Freeman, CB Desmond Trufant, OT Ty Sambrailo, EDGE Vic Beasley, CB Jamar Taylor,
Atlanta Falcons – That’s why the season is going to be a success
The Falcons had failed to reach the playoffs in the past two years. One reason for this was an always holey offensive line. They believed they had solved the problem last year with a new line-up, but injuries and inconsistencies ruined this. 50 sacks were the result.
This year, with a well-rehearsed O-Line and a fit right guard Chris Lindstrom, one hopes for improvement.
The Free Agency tore a few gaps in defense and offense, but the Falcons managed to fill them at least equally – for edge rusher Beasley came Fowler, for Tight End Hooper came Hurst. In addition, rookie cornerback AJ Terrell should be an upgrade over Trufant in the long term.
Overall, the Falcons could start a new attack on the playoffs with the occupation – health provided.
Atlanta Falcons – That’s why the season is going to be a failure
The O-Line has been a problem in the past, but certainly not the only one! It announced an Adjusted Sack Rate of 6.6 percent in 2019 Football Outsiders to, which was still above average (7 percent). The 50 sacks were not only due to poor protection, but possibly also to Ryan, the running backs or receivers, which were not always open.
In general, the positions mentioned are certain problem areas in the squad. In the receiving corps, there is simply a lack of cadre behind superstar Julio Jones and his congenial partner Calvin Ridley. New signing Laquon Treadwell, for example, never really caught on in Minnesota, while Russell Gage had almost 50 catches last year and was halfway a factor for the first time.
On the running back, the recently ineffective Freeman was replaced with Gurley, whose arthritis in his knee is certainly not getting any better. And behind it are the substitutes who have rarely convinced in 2019.
Defensively, head coach Dan Quinn’s hobbyhorse, this team has not torn up trees for a long time, so the upgrades of this offseason may not be enough to achieve the big turnaround here.
Atlanta Falcons – The key player: Calvin Ridley
Ridley became a starter in 2019 after being in the second member in 2018. Due to an injury he missed three games and so the big jump did not take place. In 2020 this must come to get the offense going again. The focus of the opponent is clearly on Julio Jones, so Ridley should now step out of his shadow in order to broaden the overall construct.
Atlanta Falcons – Season-Prognose 2020
Once again in Atlanta, the first suit doesn’t look so bad on paper. But there is still a lack of depth in the squad, so injuries could hurt. Ultimately, however, it also fails because of the immense fire power of the competition. Forecast: 3rd place in the division.