2012 NFL Season: Atlanta Falcons and 4 Epic Predictions
Many of the pieces for the Falcons, one of the more consistent teams in the league, remain intact.
Here are four epic predictions for the Atlanta Falcons in 2012.
Julio Jones Becomes the Falcons Best Offensive Player
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In his rookie season, Julio Jones piled up 959 yards and eight touchdowns.
Jones showed flashes of brilliance and has a high ceiling.
The Falcons brought in offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to help quarterback Matt Ryan stretch the field.
That was the one concern last year with the Falcons passing game; most of the throws were short and intermediate.
Ryan will be throwing deep more than ever before and it is Jones, not Roddy White, who is the Falcons best deep-threat option.
Samuel and Grimes Become NFL's Top CB Duo
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The Falcons got a steal when they acquired Asante Samuel from the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade for a seventh-round draft pick.
A seventh-rounder! Are you kidding me?
Samuel is an elite corner with a knack for creating turnovers. He made four Pro Bowls from 2007 to 2010, and has 45 career interceptions.
Brent Grimes has proved to be Atlanta's top player in the secondary over the past few years.
In 2012, the duo of Grimes and Samuel will be the top pair in the NFL. Both players are elite, shutdown corners.
Win the NFC South
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Right now the New Orleans Saints are in disarray.
Drew Brees' contract dispute continues to linger. That's a growing concern for a team that needs a leader after bounty and eavesdropping scandals.
Brees is certainly worth top-dollar, but the Saints are not going to let Brees write a blank check.
The Saints do not truly have a head coach anymore. Prior coach Sean Payton has been suspended for the year, while interim Joe Vitt is suspended for the first six games of the year.
With all that said, the Falcons actually have stability on their team with leaders such as Matt Ryan and Mike Smith.
The Panthers are not quite ready to compete for the division, but should contend for a playoff spot. Their defense, except Jon Beason, was horrid in the 2011 season.
The Falcons will win the division because they have all the off-the-field situations taken care of.
Go One-and-Done Yet Again
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Despite all their regular season success in the past four years, the Atlanta Falcons have yet to win a postseason game.
In the four-year stretch Atlanta lost all three of their playoff games.
Even with the improvements on the team, the deep ball from Ryan to Jones, the offensive line help in the draft, and adding Samuel, the Falcons will lose in the playoffs yet again.
The NFC is too deep right now for the Falcons to advance, especially in the NFC North.