2017 Falcons Season Preview & NFL Futures Lines
Looking for 2017 Atlanta Falcons predictions? We’ve got your back. The Atlanta Falcons were the biggest surprise of the 2016 season, going as far as to take a commanding lead in Super Bowl LI before crumbling and suffering a demoralizing 34-28 overtime loss to the New England Patriots.
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2018 Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl Odds +1400
Falcons 2017 NFC Championship Odds Falcons +600
Falcons 2017 NFC South Odds +170
Falcons Season Win Totals Lines – 9.5
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If the team can put that loss behind them and build off of last season’s successes, they’re in for another strong campaign and a sure-fire playoff spot, but with a target on their back in the NFC and the NFC South improving in the offseason, there can not be an early season hangover for this squad.
2017 Atlanta Falcons Predictions: Roster Changes
The Falcons went out and made a major splash in the free agent pool by signing defensive tackle Dontari Poe away from the Kansas City Chiefs.
Poe’s had some trouble staying on the field in recent seasons due to some injury woes, but there’s no question he’s elite at his position when he does line up.
And the Patriots exposed the Falcons’ interior defensive line so well in the Super Bowl that general manager Thomas Dimitroff had no choice but to go out and address the issue in the offseason.
The Falcons further bolstered their defensive line by moving up to select defensive end Takkarist McKinley in the first round of the draft after the UCLA product fell from his projected draft slot.
He’ll partner alongside Vic Beasley to form a solid pair of edge rushers.
2017 Atlanta Falcons Predictions: Offense
Maybe the most interesting change to come to the Falcons over the offseason was the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and the replacement of Steve Sarkisian in that role.
Shanahan took a lot of the credit for the success the offense had last season, so his absence will certainly be felt, but replacing him with Sarkisian has many scratching their heads as the former Washington and USC head coach, who spent last season on Alabama’s coaching staff, is better known for his work in the college ranks.
He’ll surely add some new wrinkles to Atlanta’s playbook from his college days, but whether that immediately translates to success in the NFL ranks is yet to be seen.
Last season Matt Ryan really found his groove under center, making the most of Shanahan’s conservative play calling and parlaying that into his first MVP award.
The running back tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman emerged as one of the best one-two rushing combos in football, and figure to remain elite.
And Julio Jones is an outstanding talent who can overcome any sort of coaching deficiencies that might exist – if they even do, and again, that’s yet to be seen.
2017 Atlanta Falcons Predictions: Defense
Dimitroff locked up the team’s top defensive talent in the offseason by inking Desmond Trufant to a five-year deal with $41.5 million guaranteed.
That shows a lot of faith in a guy who suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in Week 9. He’ll be the anchor of that unit, and should only be helped by an improved pass rush.
With head coach Dan Quinn slated to take on a larger role with that unit, expected to see more substitutions along the front seven to help keep those players fresh.
2017 Atlanta Falcons Handicapping: (Strengths/Weaknesses)
Shanahan did such a good job with that offense that a regression is surely in order. Ryan’s never had anything close to the season he had a year ago, and Sarkisian is unproven as an NFL play-caller.
But Julio Jones is such a dynamic talent at the wide receiver position that he’ll help ease the transition.
For all their success a year ago, Atlanta’s defense ranked 27th in the league in scoring last season. There’s still a lot of work to be done on that side of the ball.
2017 Atlanta Falcons Prediction (Final Record): 9-7
Don’t be shocked to see the Falcons miss the playoffs this season. They played above themselves a year ago and are in for a major regression. It would be wise to look elsewhere for all futures bets.
More 2017 NFC South Season Previews & NFL Predictions
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