Alright Falcon fans, here we go! I know it has been a few weeks, but I am ready to hit the ground running. My thoughts on the preseason are irrelevant, because I do not put much stock in anything I saw. I witnessed our new coordinators showing off some new schemes, but overall I was not floored. I am extremely optimistic this season because I cannot foresee a scenario in-which Atlanta does not make it to the post season (barring injury). Here are a few things that I feel comfortable discussing.
*I went to a few of the camp sessions and really liked the way Matt Ryan was throwing the ball. He was a sniper during the preseason. Can he pick up where he left off? We will know Sunday.
*Julio Jones is without a doubt the most interesting player on the roster. He is just screaming “Superstar” status. I predict a healthy Julio is going to put up 1,200-1,400 yards this season. Matt Ryan needs to trust his gut and just let it rip. Was drafting Julio worth it? Hell yes it was! His “just go home” quote may have been the confidence we all have been waiting for. Julio is a humble player, and if he is talking there is a good reason for it.
* I am a huge Harry Douglas fan, and I believe he is a key cog in this offense. He is going to easily catch 40-50 passes this year. The defenses will have to pick thier poison. The elephant in the room is the offensive line.
*The Saints are coach-less, and have lost a lot in their defense. The Panthers are a hot team due to Scam Newton, and the Bucs look to be last year’s Eagles. My thoughts on the NFC South are simple, only the winner will be making it to January. I see the wildcard coming out of the East and North.
*Asante Samuel, oh #22. Everyone has such high hopes for Asante, but we watched A.J. Green turn him into a punch line a couple weeks back. The Falcons look to have one of the top corner combos in the NFC this season, but Dunta Robinson and Asante need to keep pace with Brent Grimes. Asante brings swagger, we all saw it in camp… but now swagger needs to be replaced with production.
*Jacquizz Rodgers is going to be touching the ball more than you think this year. Coach Smith is calling him an “every down back”. Therefore, all of the Michael Turner “haters” now have a new man to cheer for. I expect Jacquizz to have a very productive season splitting carries with #33.
*Kansas City- the Chiefs are a very interesting team. Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, and Dwayne Bowe are all extremely talented players. Charles is coming back from an ACL injury that shattered the Chiefs early last season. They picked up Peyton “strep throat” Hillis in free agency and now have a powerful 1-2 punch to catapult them into the playoffs. This is an interesting game because of Dirk Koetter and Mike Nolan, both are calling their first games for Atlanta. Nolan is going to be using a lot of nickel this week. Our depth at linebacker is a glaring weakness, and going into nickel will hide it. Koetter should be calling a lot of “explosive” plays. If we learned anything in the preseason it is that Atlanta wants to throw it to Julio Jones. This should be an offensive shootout, but I have Atlanta winning 30-17 on the road in Arrowhead.
As always, I want to hear your feedback via Twitter @ColossalChicken or below! Remember to RISE UP!