One of the most glaring problems for the Falcons a year ago was the offensive line. The banged up line could not open up holes for running backs and provided little to no protection for quarterback Matt Ryan.
The season ended in misery as the team amassed just four win and they had a disgusting 1-7 record away from home and managed just one victory within the division. They have to be better this year, right?
This is an offense that needed some help as they finished 31st in the league in rushing the ball. They did finish 7th in the league in the passing game, but that may be attributed to the fact that they were behind in nearly every game last season. They have a lot of work to do but up to this point they have made all of the right moves.
It all started by drafting an offensive lineman that will protect Ryan for the rest of his career. Offensive tackle Jake Matthews was the first pick for this team and the right move. He is an NFL-ready player with sound technique and strong NFL bloodlines. The Falcons sorely needed stability along the offensive line to help protect Ryan and revive a listless rushing attack.
This team is not afraid of the pressure or the attention as they have announced that they will be featured on HBO’s popular show, ‘Hard Knocks’.
Atlanta Falcons to be featured on HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ – Premieres August 5th http://t.co/6uZq8teQEm
— Jason Rocco (@ThatGuyHugs) June 12, 2014
While the offense has improved, the defense has already suffered some bad news as linebacker Sean Weatherspoon will miss the entire season.
The Falcons still have way too many question marks. They are recovering from injuries too many of their key players most notably wide receiver stand out Julio Jones. On defense there is a concerning absence of pass rush, with only really Osi Umenyiora capable of bringing consistent pressure, and he is unlikely to be an every-down player as Jonathan Massaquoi will likely play more of the snaps at that spot. The inability to get to the passer will prove to be a big problem against their divisional rival, the New Orleans Saints.
The Falcons will be improved from a season ago, but they don’t have enough consistency in the key spots to win this division. The Panthers are poised to fall flat and the Buccaneers could surprise, but look for a second place finish from a Flacons team that cannot catch the Saints in the NFC South.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.