Falcons NFL Betting Overview August 4th, 2008
By: Betus NFL Handicapping Staff
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2008 NFL PreSeason Analysis – 2008 Falcons Football Gambling
In the history of NFL betting, very few teams have had to go through as much turmoil as the 2007 Atlanta Falcons. From Michael Vick’s dog fighting to Bobby Petrino’s resignation mid-season, the Falcons were an utter mess for sports wagering faithful.
But with a new head coach and the drafting of potential franchise quarterback, Matt Ryan, the Falcons franchise and online sportsbook betting fanatics have received a breath of fresh air. They won’t be competing for a division title in the coming year but at least they have direction now.
The Falcons, who had led the NFL in rushing in each of the last three seasons, fell completely off the map last year. As a whole, they produced only 1520 yards and seven touchdowns.
Clearly, a large part of the problem was not having Vick. Vick may not be the most accurate passer, but he is a dynamic, dangerous quarterback. And he’s probably a better passer than Joey Harrington or Chris Redman, the two quarterbacks the Falcons were left with last year.
The Falcons return those two scrubs but now at least there is a clear vision as to who the franchise quarterback will eventually be: Matt Ryan.
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Considering the offensive line is mediocre and the receiving corps is sub par, don’t expect the coaching staff to throw Ryan into the fire right away.
The main addition to the offense is running back Michael Turner, who was Atlanta’s prized free agent signing. With Jerious Norwood and Turner, the Falcons have an ideal one-two punch with power and speed. That will the job easier for Ryan – or the other quarterbacks – when he gets into the lineup.
As far as targets go, the Falcons might have the thinnest receiving corps in the NFL. Roddy White had a breakout year last year with 83 receptions and 1202 yards but Michael Jenkins, a former first-round pick, has yet to develop into anything reliable. Joe Horn is around, but likely won’t make the final roster. Laurent Robinson looks like a nice complementary wideout.
On the whole, this unit will be one of the weaker ones in the NFL.
The Falcons defense has more playmakers than the offense has but overall, is average at best. The hope is that new head coach, Mike Smith, who was formerly a good defensive coordinator in Jacksonville, can coach this unit up.
The Falcons have two solid defensive ends up front with John Abraham and Jamaal Anderson. Abraham played all 16 games and registered 10 sacks. It was only the second time in the last five seasons that he played more than 12 games.
While Abraham and Anderson can wreak some havoc in the middle, the Falcons don’t have any muscle in the center of their defensive line. They started out last year with Grady Jackson and Rod Coleman. This year, Jonathan Babineaux and Montavious Stanley are the slated starters.
The Falcons will get run on and their linebackers will have plenty of tackles to clean up. This unit is the strength of the defense with veteran leader Keith Brooking and up-and-comer Michael Boley manning the outside positions.
The Falcons traded disgruntled cornerback DeAngelo Hall in the offseason, which has left the cupboard bare in the secondary. Hall had to go because of chemistry issues but with Chris Houston and Von Hutchins as the starters, the Falcons will have trouble covering anyone.
Regular Season Win Total: 4.5
The Falcons are clearly one of the bottom feeders in the NFL. The biggest hurdle on their journey to hit five wins and hit the over in this total is the fact that their division has improved. Carolina and New Orleans won’t be as bad as they were last year.
Four wins may not look like progress for the Falcons but this season is more about developing their players of the future.
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