Atlanta Falcons: 8 things preview

2016-17 look back

The Atlanta Falcons won the NFC South last year, going 11-5 throughout the regular season. After rolling through the NFC in the playoffs, the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.

returning stars

The Falcons return a 4000-yard passer (Matt Ryan), a 1000-yard rusher (Devonta Freeman) and a 1000-yard receiver (Julio Jones).

key losses

Defensive end Dwight Freeney leaves the Falcons, but the roster remains fairly intact. They also lose offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan who was responsible for putting together one of the best offenses in the NFL a year ago. It’s a big loss, even though fans gave him the “go home, you’re drunk” treatment by failing to control the ball and the clock with a huge lead in the Super Bowl. Steve Sarkisian replaces Shanahan after being told “go home, you’re drunk” by USC (although he did spend a year on Alabama’s staff … a team who also choked in the title game).

key additions

Dontari Poe (DT) joins the team from the Chiefs.

draft night

The Falcons looked for defensive help by drafting defensive end Takkarist McKinley in the first round and linebacker Duke Riley in the 3rd round.

how’d they do against us?
  • vs. Panthers – W, 48-33
  • at Panthers – W, 33-16
Famous fan

Atlanta Falcons’s biggest fan, hip hop mogul Matty B

2017-18 outlook

Keeping the team fully intact after losing the Super Bowl? We’ve seen this before.