After mortgaging their entire 2011 draft to acquire Julio Jones, Atlanta went 10-6. They lost to the eventual Super Bowl winner, New York Giants, and looked bad doing it. You never want a ‘2’ next to your name, unless the final score is 2-0.
In 2011, Atlanta won the games they were supposed to win and lost the games they were supposed to lose. They were a bit vanilla and didn’t have too many memorable moments that I can recall.
Can Michael Turner rebound from a horrible second-half in 2011? Does a new offensive coordinator translate into better passing numbers for Matt Ryan?
Here’s our 2012 NFL team preview for the Atlanta Falcons.
(Yes, that is Playboy’s Jaime Edmondson in an Atlanta Falcons shirt…expect a lot more of her in our NFL team preview posts.)
2011 Win/Loss Record: 10-6
Key Additions: CB Asante Samuel, LB Mike Peterson, C Peter Konz, OT Lamar Holmes, Bradie Ewing and Jonathan Massaquoi.
Key Losses: CB Kelvin Hayden, WR Eric Weems, S James Sanders and LB Curtis Lofton.
Non-Division Schedule: AFC West and NFC East
Fantasy Sleeper: WR Harry Douglas – I did think Jason Snelling would be the best fantasy sleeper on the Falcons, but Harry Douglas is a better deep sleeper. The new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is rumored to be implementing a pass-happy offense. Matt Ryan looks good early in camp and is said to already have a good feel for the new offense. Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez can’t catch all the balls and if Douglas can stay healthy, he’ll get some targets.
Team Analysis: Ryan will be better under the new offensive coordinator. They won’t have to rely on Michael Turner as much, which is a bonus for the team. His heavy workload seems to be taking a toll on him and Snelling could find more carries by the end of the season. Asante Samuel will help them a lot in the secondary. They were 20th in opposing passing yards and facing the NFC South is difficult a difficult task. They catch a break in the scheduling by playing four games against the AFC West, but then face the upgraded NFC East. They will have a better season in 2012, especially since Ryan will have a full training camp with Jones and the rest of his wide receivers.
2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 9 (Prediction: OVER)
2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 11-5
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