Atlanta Falcons’ fans ended the 2015 season disappointed, after Quarterback Matt Ryan and new head coach Dan Quinn went from a perfect 6-0 record to losing 8 of their last 10 games.
Although the Falcons were able to secure second place within their division, the team was unable to meet the demands of their direct competitors, finishing 1-5 in division games and losing both matches against the depleting New Orleans Saints.
As Matt Ryan heads into his ninth season playing with a contract that demands a trip to the NFC Conference Championships, let’s review the Falcon’s off season efforts to see what type of strategy is being developed for 2016 – 2017.
New Members of The Falcons – Trades
- WR – Mohamed Sanu
- LB – Sean Weatherspoon
- C – Alex Mack
- DE – Derrick Shelby
- LB – Courtney Upshaw
New Members of The Falcons – Draft Picks
- SS – Keanu Neal – Florida (Round 1)
- LB – Deion Jones – LSU (Round 2)
- TE – Austin Hooper – Stanford (Round 3)
- LB – De’Vondre Campbell – Minnesota (Round 4)
- G – Wes Schweitzer – San Jose State (Round 6)
- WR – Devin Fuller – UCLA (Round 7)
Player’s Traded or Released
- WR – Roddy White
- S – William Moore
- TE – Tony Moeaki
- T – Jake Long
- DE – Kroy Biermann
- LB – Nate Stupar
Offseason Evaluation and Opinion
Based on the team’s goals heading into the fall, as well as the efforts made by the team’s executive members, we believe that their actions deserve a C grade.
Considering the fact that their defense still has a long way to go regardless of Dan Quinn’s experience within this field, the team is still weak in just about every stopping position it has.
In order for Matty “Ice” to perform at his absolute best each week, he will need a lot more assistance with interior blocking.
Their draft selections could be considered mediocre as the Falcons overlooked the physical stature of Darron Lee and Shaq Lawson, in order to pick up unexceptional collegiate players like Keanu Neal or Deon Jones.
On top of this, The Falcons are still missing depth in regard to veteran leadership, losing both Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White in the last three years.
However, based on the weaknesses of New Orleans and the inexperience of Tampa Bay, the Falcons have a solid chance of making the playoffs if they are able to:
- Show up against divisional rivals and improve their record to 4-2
- Beat the Carolina Panthers at least once
- Improve possession on offense
- Improve their running game
- Improve their pass protection