Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Atlanta Falcons Secure #2 Seed and the NFL Playoffs

The Atlanta Falcons capped off an outstanding regular season by beating the New Orleans Saints.  Their 11th win of the season secured the Falcons the #2 seed in the NFC for the playoffs that includes a first round bye for Atlanta.  At or near the top of the NFL in most offensive categories, this year’s offense was something to be scared of.  Much of the credit has to go to quarterback Matt Ryan and his career year/MVP caliber year.  Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman led a dynamic running game that was 5th in the league in total yards and yards per rush.  Mahamed Sanu turned out to be a great compliment to Julio Jones who battled injuries but still almost led the league in receiving yards.  The offensive line stepped up this year as it was much better than last year and the key to that was the addition of center Alex Mack.  He really made the difference to an offensive line that struggled in the past. 

The defense, outside of the 2016 NFL sacks leader Vic Beasley, was a disappointment once again though it did keep opponents under 15 points in three  of their last four games.  27th in points allowed, 25th in yards, 29th in first down and it goes on from there.  This doesn’t seem like a great fit to make a deep run in the playoffs but with their offense I think Atlanta can definitely compete with any team in the NFC.  Having their first playoff game at home and a bye week before that to rest and heal will help their chances quite a bit. 

I like New England to represent the AFC but how do you not?  That said, I definitely think Kansas City and Pittsburgh can beat them on a good day.  New England will only have to worry about Houston or Oakland in the Division Playoff round which makes their path to the AFC Championship an easy one.  Winning it is another thing.  KC is hot but outscoring the Pats could be tough.  Pittsburgh has a good all-around team who should definitely give New England fits.  Again I’ll take the Pats with my eye on the Steelers and Chiefs. 

The NFC is a little more wide open to me.  I love Atlanta’s chances especially if the Cowboys can get knocked off in the division playoff round.  Don’t discount that idea as Green Bay could be their opponent and Green Bay is definitely capable of beating anyone.  The Giants could also play spoiler as they’ve proven they are tough if not exciting.  Seattle is as good as anyone when playing their best but were inconsistent during the regular season.  Who will they be in the playoffs and can they do it week after week?  Dallas is good across the board.  Can their young talent bring it in the playoffs?  That is probably the only thing that would keep them out of the NFC title game and maybe Super Bowl.  If a defense can rattle them or they get into a shootout you never know what you might get out of a young team.  If I was putting money down, I’d put it on Green Bay to represent the NFC.


  1. Atlanta is rolling right now. I'd pick them... if it weren't for them damn Cowboys... who I have losing to Brady in the SB. Although... I'll be all smiles if the Packers or Seahawks can make it to the big game.

  2. I'm hoping Atlanta can win one at home and if they play at Dallas make it a shootout which I'm not sure Prescott and the Cowboys can win. That said Dallas is the better overall team and playing at home that is a lot to ask for.