Atlanta Falcons: 5 New Years Resolutions For 2011

John SmithCorrespondent IIDecember 31, 2010

Atlanta Falcons: 5 New Years Resolutions For 2011

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    It's that time of year again. Time to shift the calendar from this year and welcome in a new year. With that being said, it is time to look at five New Year's Resolutions for the Atlanta Falcons

    The 2010 Atlanta Falcons have a record of 12-3, and is one win away from clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

    They have one of the most consistent offenses in the NFL led by Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez.

    The defense has struggled at times this year but is peaking at the right time. Just look at their game against the New Orleans Saints.

    There are five things that all Atlanta Falcons want to happen in the first few weeks in the 2011 calendar. Consider these New Year’s resolutions for the Atlanta Falcons and their fans

1. Home-Field Advantage

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    The Atlanta Falcons want to play in the comforts of the Georgia Dome come playoff time in 2011.

    The Falcons can accomplish this on Jan. 2 with a win over the worst team in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers. If they win that the Super Bowl will go through the Georgia Dome.

    Bring it on, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Green Bay. We want to play you in the Georgia Dome because we will beat you.

    Now certainly the Falcons could lose at home, but so can any other team in the NFL, I just don’t think they lose against these teams in the playoffs at home.

    They have lost at the Dome, but they just didn’t play well. If they play well, they won’t be beaten.

    For why the Falcons-Saints MNF game meant nothing, read this.

2. The Defense to Keep Improving

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    I would focus on the offense, but what they did was uncharacteristic, and they will make much-needed changes.

    Regardless of what the offense does, the defense will have to step up and make plays. The defense is the side of the ball where the 2011 Super Bowl will be decided.

    Now the offense will have something to do with it, but the Falcons defense will need to step up if this team wants to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

    The defense showed in the New Orleans game that they have a defense that can win a Super Bowl. The defense is peaking and they are doing it at the right time.

    Sure the offense looked anemic against the Saints, but they will have some much needed time off to work out the kinks—but only if they beat the Panthers.

    The defense has given up yards all year, but they do a good job at something that matters. That is, they don’t give up points.  The Falcons defense was gassed going into the last couple drives of the Saints game.

    They were on the field 20 plays longer than they are accustomed to. If the offense moves the ball effectively, imagine what a fresh defense would look like.

    If the Falcons want to play in Dallas, then they will have to play well both defensively and offensively.

3. Falcons Fans to Rise Up

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    The Georgia Dome was rocking Monday night in the game against the Saints. For the Falcons to make a serious run at the Super Bowl, they will have to Rise Up and get behind this Falcons team.

    The atmosphere in a regular season game was incredible, just wait and see when the Saints or Eagles come to the Georgia Dome in the playoffs.

    The Falcons have shown that they can feed off of the atmosphere in the dome on the defensive side of the ball, if only that can shift to the offense as well in the playoffs.

    Say all you want to about how the Falcons are now beatable at home, but that doesn't change the fact that it is still a very difficult thing to do.

    Especially considering the fact that the Falcons' offense only scored seven points, but they still had a chance to win it in the final minutes.

    Sure, the Falcons can be beaten at home, but the Falcons would much rather host playoff games than travel on the road.

    With potential playoff games at home, the Falcons fans will need to 'Rise Up' and get behind this team that has the chance to do something special.

4. A Four-Game Winning Streak

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    A four-game winning streak means one thing for the Atlanta Falcons.

    A Super Bowl Championship.

    Following the first loss of the year, the Falcons went on a four-game winning streak.

    Following their second loss of the year, the Falcons went on an eight-game winning streak.

    Following the Falcons third loss of the year, they will only need a four-game winning streak to win the Super Bowl.

    Game 1: beat the Panthers Jan. 2

    Game 2: beat the divisional opponent Jan. 15 or 16

    Game 3: beat the conference championship opponent Jan. 23

    Game 4: beat the AFC representative in the Super Bowl Feb. 6

    This is something the Falcons have shown they can do. They have shown that they can be the best team in the NFC and have shown they can compete with some of the best in the AFC.

    Win four games in a row, and you will hoist the Lombardi Trophy in Big D on Feb. 6.

    This is something that should be on the top of the list for all Falcons Fans, the team has shown that they have the talent and coaching to accomplish this.

    For Atlanta to go on a four-game winning streak, they will have to rely on the legs of Michael Turner and the passing game of Matt Ryan.

    But like I have said before, how far the Falcons go will come down to how well the defense plays, and I think they have shown that they are peaking at the right time.

5. Atlanta's Second Sports Championship

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    Even though Atlanta has teams in the MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL, they only have one championship in its history.

    The only one that we have is the Atlanta Braves and the 1995 World Series.

    One thing that all Atlanta fans can hope for is to add a second championship for this city. There really isn’t anything else to say here.

    We want a championship and we want the Falcons to win a Super Bowl, we want a victory parade, and we want to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

    That is all we want for 2011, a Super Bowl trophy. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Call me a homer all you want, but wouldn’t you want a Super Bowl and championship for your city? I know I do.