To the naked eye, the 2013-14 Atlanta Falcons (preceding the season) had little resemblance to a squad that would finish with a 4-12 record. Fronted by one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Matt Ryan, while being supported by the pass-catching trio of Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White and Julio Jones, the Falcons looked to be on a fast track to procuring the Lombardi Trophy.
And when you factored in the addition of star veteran running back Steven Jackson, it looked as though Atlanta was a shoo-in to win on offense alone.
Today's NFL is centered on the line of scrimmage. Passing the ball almost 70 percent of the time is a recipe for disaster, especially behind a suspect offensive line, as the Falcons found out this season.
For teams to truly have a shot: It must be able to both run and stop the run primarily—which is referred to as "football character." If Atlanta is able to reach back into the recent past and re-establish its football character, which at one point it was virtually peerless with; it will be a swift turnaround for the Red and Black.
But with plenty of cap space and room to create a lot more, it should make for a very interesting offseason out in Flowery Branch. Let's take a look at some of the toughest decisions the Falcons' brass will have to make this offseason.