Poll: I say 9 wins for Falcons, national media mixed, what say you?

Matt Ryan, give Roddy White the microphone: He says the Falcons will make the playoffs. (Jennifer Brett, jbrett@ajc.com)

Matt Ryan, give Roddy White the microphone: He says the Falcons will make the playoffs. (Jennifer Brett, jbrett@ajc.com)

Matt Ryan, give Roddy White the microphone: He says the Falcons will make the playoffs. (Jennifer Brett, jbrett@ajc.com)

I say nine wins. Roddy White responded, “Nine (bleepin’) wins? Are you kidding me?” He did not give me his win prediction for the regular season but kept saying: “Tournament.” As in the Falcons will make the playoffs.

I agree. I think they’ll make the playoffs because, notwithstanding the obvious deficiencies on the offensive line and scrambling that’s going on in the personnel department, I believe their defense will be improved enough under coach Dan Quinn to support an offense led by Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and White that they will win nine games.

National predictions for the Falcons are all over the board. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated picks the Falcons to finished second in the NFC South to the New Orleans Saints. Peter King of Sports Illustrated has the Falcons winning the division and Dan Quinn winning coach of the year honors. ESPN lists the Falcons 23rd out of 32 teams in its manufactured power rankings, including only 12th in the NFC and third in the South (behind New Orleans and Carolina).

CBS Sports says its “Sportsline Projection Model,” which I would imagine to be a really nice set of darts, projects the Falcons to win 7.4 games, although it ranks them 31st in its power rankings (I’m confused). Most Las Vegas sportsbooks have put the Falcons’ over/under at 8.5 wins, so I guess that makes me a tad optimistic (which I’m sure is a source of amusement in Flowery Branch).

So what say you? I could put up a poll asking if you believe the Falcons will win the NFC South, capture a wild card berth or miss the playoffs. But that’s so dependent on how other teams do that it’s easier just to ask for your predicted win total.

I’m giving you six choices. Choose wisely.

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Reader Comments 0

65 comments
Dasdguy
Dasdguy

7.  This is a rebuilding year folks ..Sort out the defense this year. Next year start on the O line. Other than patchwork strategy.

mdet
mdet

Wow a lot of people think the Falcons are gonna be good. I don't see it but I hope they're right.

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

I'm pretty optimistic about this season. Weak division, new coach, they get to play the AFC South, and the other division rivals have major question marks in a lot of places. I think 10 wins is a reasonable expectation given all that. Not sure if that translates into any playoff success, but I think they will have a winning season.

Dman
Dman

Not sure how many wins we will end up with but we will start with our first win on Monday night against the Eagles.

Rise Up ATL!!!

metitotktodd
metitotktodd

I say you should apologize to Brady and the Patriots for all those bogus statements you made about them.

Blasingame
Blasingame

I'm not a prognosticator, nor is Schultz. I do understand football (the game, not the business, not the BS hype).  The Falcons simply don't have a team that can win more than half their games, if that.  While spending tens of millions on two players, they have woefully neglected the "unsung" people who make teams actually work.  Watch the Cowboys, with an outstanding offensive line, not one of whom I can name, have a great year.  Too bad the Falcons have more PR people in their organization than football people.

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

Falcons win 9. RISE UP!!!

HonchoPoncho
HonchoPoncho

They win 6 games, and Monday night ain't one of them

Intelibird
Intelibird

If you've seen what Chip Kelly has done to the Eagles, then you should know that we have a chance.  Hope the Falcons are preparing for some Oregon-type, fast paced football.  I think that no huddle and hurry-up is the standard there.  Lets beat them old-style.  They are definitely beat-able.  Go Birds!

anthony patterson
anthony patterson

Yeah just average 40 points this preseason. Win 20 games while your team was losing 22. But that doesn't count, because everythings vanilla, right? Except when the Falcons supposed much improve defense beat first game Mariota, horrible Jets, limited Miami and Baltimore, things weren't vanilla then, right? Quinn got you picking up starters on an Oline that's been bad for years, a week before the season opener. Sounds like you need to worry about your team and coaching staff.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@anthony patterson

iggles all-time won/loss record:  560/594 (44%)

An iggles fan talking smack...now that's funny right there!

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

It all depends on the o-line that no one has seen play yet. They could be epically bad or rise up in a big way and establish their mediocrity in a relatively cohesive manner. If they let Ryan get knocked out, which could happen Monday night, this team might struggle to win any game, period. If they protect and block up to the level of last year's line the Falcons could win the Division and an invitation to be slaughtered on national TV.

Coleman could be the offensive steal of the draft, and the defense figures to be marginally better.

Intelibird
Intelibird

@DawgDadII Exactly, we won't know anything until Monday night.  Prospects, however, do not appear favorable, unless stars are aligned (and meat-heads can immediately learn to play together).

Mora-less-Petrino
Mora-less-Petrino

If the South is bad again, which it probably is, and IF the Falcons can go 5-1 in the division again, then 8 or 9 wins may be doable. Five wins in the division, plus Texans, Jags, 49ers, Giants, Deadskins, and Titans are all games that look winnable. If the Birds go 3-3 aginst those six teams, then they are in the .500 range. 

I'm not going to be shocked if the Falcons open with a win on Monday! Matt Ryan at home aginst Sam Bradford could fall into the W column for ATL.

 An Atlanta radio guy said he could see the Falcons going anywhere from 6-10 to 10-6. I'm thinking that as well. Last season, as bad as it was, could have ended 8-8 if not for the Detroit and Cleveland fiascos! I don't see the team being worse than last year, but I may be singing a different tune a month from now.


 The media infatuation for the Saints and Washington Nationals the last four or five years should be a running joke by now. Every preseason we hear how great those teams are, favorites to win it all. Washington just fell 7 games behind NY and the Saints followed up their Superbowl win by becoming the first team in NFL history to lose a playoff game to an opponenet with a losing record. Both teams have a few playoff appearances since 2010, but always a round one or two exit from the postseason. Washington has not gotten past round one and Saints have two wildcard weekend wins.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Doesn't really matter since Falcons couldn't win playoff games even in the good years when they were supposedly built to win. Like the Braves WS record in the 90's, Falcons are 1-4 under Ryan in postseason games which indicates the results will stay the same as long as he's under center. Good guy no doubt but lacking that certain something necessary to take over football games.

Intelibird
Intelibird

@GeorgeJetsen That "something necessary" is probably an offensive line and running game, which we have struggled to have for several years now.  You will not beat top quality opponents throwing the ball on every down with the occasional draw play or screen.

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

@Intelibird @GeorgeJetsen Ryan is not the problem.  "that certain something" he's missing in the playoffs is an O-Line, and a defense that can at least slow down the opponent.  

HotDawg
HotDawg

3 or 4.

Bad times until they get an O line, defense, RB, and TE.

At least a 3 year project.

Wouldn't matter if Lombardi was alive to coach this team.

Enjoy paying for PSL's, suckers.

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

@HotDawg we have 2 real RB...We just put together a great Defense. ANd we have a breakout tight end...You saint fans are a sad sad bunch....

atlfalconno1fan
atlfalconno1fan

just beat the nasty small town aints in the swamp and in Atlanta as well...JOY WOULD BE ROUTING THEM AGAIN IN THAT 50 YR OLD CAVE CALLED THE SUPER DOME 

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

Lot of "Woe is me" people here....cry babies

JRoswell
JRoswell

Nate Silver says 9.6 wins. I generally agree with him, but am taking the under at 9.


Main reasons:  easy schedule,  Drew Breeze getting old, Charlotte has too many needs, and Tampa Bay has not improved much.  

So predicitng a winning season is not a statement that the team is good.  It's not very good, but has enough external factors to put it over 500.  Atlanta won't progress in the post-season, if it gets there.

GT71
GT71

Have to go with 5.  Maybe 6 if Ryan can keep from getting hurt for 8 games.

They really haven't much else to really depend on and as this is a team sport, he's dependent on an OL that is just plain scary - from the QB's POV.  Add to that the silly notion that a new coach can somehow 'fix' a defense in a few short months with basically the same, or yet unproven players, and you've got a bad year coming.

But we do like the new stadium.  It's gonna be a real winner.

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

Unfortunately, I think the odds are better than 50-50 that Ryan gets injured this season because the line will be unable to protect him. Falcons are just not physical enough and other teams will intimidate them on both sides of the ball. Receivers will be off pattern & timing, Ryan will be hurried, and eventually Ryan will hold a moment too long and get creamed. When Ryan's out, things will do down hill quickly. Offense will be off the field quickly and our defense will tire making them even more ineffective. 8 wins would surprise me so I'm going with 7 which may be too optimistic. 

Intelibird
Intelibird

@traderjoe9 Good analysis.  If Ryan gets hurt the season is over.  Maybe hire Jeff Van Note as GM and he will draft a couple of O-linemen.

Southernscot
Southernscot

Given that the rest of the division is softer than tiramisu, Falcons could go 8-8 and still win the division. Bucs are a mess, Panthers have no receivers and Saints have no D. Think if the O-line comes together eventually and Falcons get something out of the running game, they're still the most complete team in the NFC South. 

Baghead
Baghead

@Southernscot Come together??? I feel sorry for Matthews.  The entire line is a bag of misfit castoffs.  They won't improve and they definitely won't "come together".  I'd ask to opt our of my contract and an immediate trade if I were Ryan.

Big Wally
Big Wally

New coaching staff + new blocking scheme + rejects on the off. line + no depth + too many of Dimitroffs flunkies still on the team = 6 wins.

Intelibird
Intelibird

@Big Wally At least they're not the past 2 years losers, who we know couldn't play a lick.  This version can only be better.  I predict that the O-line will be improved, even with the cast-offs.

Baghead
Baghead

And the desperation continues.  I didn't realize we signed a piece of poop practice squad OL out of Denver by the name of Garland.  Unreal.  How pathetic and embarrassing we are to the league.  I just read somewhere that an NFL executive had to look at the sheet three times to be sure he was reading the Levitre trade correctly.  He couldn't believe it.  Like somebody commented earlier: We are doing nothing but wasting away the prime playing years of Ryan and Jones.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

I'm not sure how many games the Falcons can win. But if they can beat the Eagles, I'll lean toward the prediction of Mr. Schultz..

UGA76
UGA76

I said before last year's draft that this was a two year rebuilding job IF Dimitroff was gone.  That incompetent clown is still around and Quinn might be the greatest HC of all time but he didn't have time to organize a draft last year.  This coming draft will start year 1 of the 2 year rebuild if they get rid of Dimitroff at the end of this 6 win at most season. 

Baghead
Baghead

Quinn can be the greatest coach on the planet, but as long as you have garbage players, you aren't going anywhere.  The Levitre trade has got to be one of the dumbest signings I've ever seen.  Proof positive Dummytroff has no clue what's going and is in complete desperation mode.  Doesn't somebody above him need to approve this????  Quinn never won with his own players anywway, so I'm not giving him any credit.  This team won't win 7 games this year.  No way.  Garabage OL, Garbage old man defensive rush with Bierman and Worrilow!! Really?  These two idiots couldn't make the London Monarchs squad.  The team is trash.  Mouth breather Ryan will be too skiddish by the 4th game.  Get ready for an INT happy season.  Jake Matthews...bust.  Collins...........bust.  Bye bye Quinn.  He'll resign by 2017.  Dummytroff too worried about what brand of pedals he's going to buy for his rainbow bike before he is on evaluating NFL talent.

Falcons63
Falcons63

@Baghead  Wow... there is negativity.. and then far to the right of you see baghead.  Disagree on the Levitre trade.  The guy has a rep for being a solid pass protector.  Re-structured his deal to be more cap friendly.  The guy wants to win. A 6th rd pick and a conditional 2nd pick(I'm sure it will be a late rd pick) is a small price if he turns out to be a solid starter.  You can't draft til the cows come home and end up with nothing to show for it.


Are the Falcons going to be any good?  Who knows.  The NFL is a crap shoot.  There is such roster turnover year after year that it's difficult build continuity.  No more of the old days of the great Steelers teams.  Guys were drafted and never left unless cut or injured.  With free agency,  It seems there is always a  team that comes from nowhere to be a contender.  Someone the talking heads didn't notice. 

I could see the Falcons winning 10 games.. but I could also see them losing 10.  The margin for error in the NFL is so thin.  As horrible as the Falcons were last season they won 6.. and could easly have won 9-10.. and they were AWFUL!  Coach Smith cost 2 games directly with clock mismanagement.  Just show's it doesn't take much to improve the win total pretty dramatically.  As bad as the offensive line is predicted to be, the defense appears to be improved.  I think Adrian Clayborn may have a good year.


It was pointed out tonight the Falcons were around 14 million under the cap. That's after the Ryan and Jones deal.   Look at some of the other teams numbers(New Orleans!)  and you at least credit the mgmt. for handling the cap.  The Aint's are at the cap limit even after dumping Jimmy Graham!  If this team goes 10-6 with money to spend in the offseason?  I would say they are on the right track, regardless of "Dummytroff".


I know this much.  I'm a Dan Quinn believer.  If you ever meet this guy you will come away impressed. I know I did.  Bottom line is that Monday night by 10:30 either the pessimists are going to be in heaven or the very few optimists will be flooding the board!  I can't wait till kickoff!

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

How on God's Green Earth do you win 9 games & the division and have no running game and the least talented 'O'Line in the NFL? Sure hope I'm wrong.

reckingball
reckingball

.5,...is that the same thing as a tie? what is a .4?

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

I've think we upgraded all over the board! (In a Captain Kirk voice)"WE, shall be feared!!!"

gfw
gfw

Weakest schedule in the NFL offset by the weakest OL in the NFL.  I'll bet in the entire history of the NFL there has never been a team with the weakest OL that finished the season above .500.  But it's just possible that Quinn & Richard Smith might craft an above-average defense from the pieces they have.  If that happens---keeping that "weakest schedule" thing in mind---we might make history and finish 9-7.

BLowE12
BLowE12

The schedule will, like it always does, play into the final record. And once you build confidence along with momentum you never know how far things can go with a first round playoff game as well.

ChuckinAlpharetta
ChuckinAlpharetta

If Quinn can get this team to 9-10 wins, he'll have earned a fast-track to Canton.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

I'm with the national media - 4 wins at most for this team.  Worst O-line in the league (again); very questionable D-line (still); piddling LB'ers; questionable corners; a safety who is nothing but talk; and really questionable coaching from Quinn on down.

Remember, earlier this year, I predicted the Braves may not win a game after the All-Star break, and now they are poised to set the team record for most losses in a year.....stay tuned....

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

@Surelyyoujest But you were wrong.  The Braves have won games since the break.  So if you're saying 4 wins, given your track record, they should win many more.

JSSN
JSSN

@Surelyyoujest

Never use a word like "may" or "not" around that MENSA member PalmBeach. It will be turned into "will not" in a heartbeat! It ranks up there with his love of broken down things!