At the start of the year, I wrote a review for a sports website on the season just passed and my predictions for my beloved Falcons in that season.
Here, I will analyse where I was correct (and where I wasn't) while briefly analysing our up and down year.
I said -OL & RB
It was - RB
I was partly right here. The depth at running back (ie. Jason Snelling) really came to the fore when both Turner and Norwood couldn't stay healthy. Snelling racked up 613 yards this season (previous best of 62) and 4.3 yards per carry. He showed to be of Turner's ilk and he deserves at least a little recognition.
This also might be the season that Norwood leaves to get more of a starting role elsewhere, something he too deserves.
The OL was also affected by the plague which seemed to sweep its way through Flowery Branch this season. They allowed a couple more sacks this season (2009-19, 2008-17) but it appeared giving Matt Ryan less time was more of a problem.
I said - LB, S
It was - CB
This maybe an area of contention but despite the promising end to the season, the CB's really struggled against the pass. This late development looked like more of a result of poor QB play, but they do deserve some due credit. However, having 5 different starters throughout the year and having one of the worst pass defenses takes its toll. They were exposed by a lack of pass rush at times and couldn't pick up the slack.
I think the LB's stepped up and did enough to get by, especially against the run. And the S's played well above expectation and it should be interesting to see how William Moore sees himself trying to break into the partnership between Coleman and DeCoud.
I said - Gonzalez & Peterson
It was - Gonzalez & Peterson
Gonzalez & Peterson provided leadership on both sides of the ball for a relatively young Falcons side. Peterson's strengths were mostly in the intangible side, calling defensive audibles and helping younger players develop.
Gonzalez clearly has this side but his production was also vital, collecting 867 yards and 6 touchdowns right when they were needed. He was catching balls in double (even triple) coverage all season long. True definition of an offensive weapon, not let down by his blocking.
I said - Milloy, Boley & Foxworth
It was - Brooking
Most fans were sad to see Brooking go but after giving away the play that let the Cardinals knock us out the playoffs, many felt it was time for him to move on. This, in my opinion, was a mistake. He seems rejuvenated in Dallas and we could have done with some solid LB play this year. However, this selection speaks more of the lack of other options, than Brookings success.
Milloy was not missed at all, Boley was injured early on and Foxworth was one of the most beat CB's in the league.
I said - 9-7
It was - 9-7
I got stick for my low prediction, but the 3rd toughest schedule took its toll. Its great to finally get rid of that curse, oh and being right!
I said - Harry Douglas
It was - Thomas DeCoud
Can't blame me for this one, Douglas was injured before the regular season and didn't play a down.
DeCoud really stepped up and played hard. I championed Moore to start ahead of him in the preseason, but DeCoud has really made life difficult for Mike Smith in this coming offseason. (2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions)
I said - Jamaal Anderson
It was - Jamaal Anderson
27 tackles and 0.5 sacks this season is not good enough for an 8th overall pick, even though he plays as a rotational DT as well as DE. He still hasn't had an average year stat wise and only his run defense play is keeping his name on the roster.
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