Last year many of us were surprised in the drastic turn around of the Atlanta Falcons, despite losing one the of the leagues most explosive players to personal issues. With the emergence of Matt Ryan and a young team that bolsters a talented offense and defense, they'll steal the spotlight for this installment of Biggest Threats.
Key Offseason Additions:
TE Tony Gonzalez
C Brett Romberg
LB Mike Peterson
OLB Jamie Winborn
Key Offseason Subtractions:
DT Grady Jackson
DT Rod Coleman
OLB Michael Boley
OLB Keith Brooking
SS Lawyer Milloy
Key Draft Picks:
DT Peria Jerry, Mississippi- Jerry brings a strong presence to a defensive line that is slightly depleted. His aggressive play style and game technique will be key to the Falcons defensive unit.
S William Moore, Missouri- A rangy safety who was considered a top prospect until injuries plagued his senior year. He will be given a great opportunity to become something in the Falcons defense. Sleeper Alert!
Projected Top Performers
(courtesy ESPN 2009 Projections)
Michael Turner- 358 rush 1574 yards 14 TD
Roddy White- 91 rec 1337 yards 8 TD
Tony Gonzalez- 76 rec 901 yards 7 TD
Matt Ryan- 290 comp 467 attempts 3684 yards 25 TD 14 Int
The Falcons are a team that are fast consistent and two-headed. Their offense brings the Cowboys face to face with a team that can run the ball effectively and pass the ball intelligently. With the addition of Gonzalez, a large target is now there if all else fails for Ryan and it gives the Cowboys something else to focus on. Defensively you see a young unit that can produce turnovers. They are fast, smart, and execute well. This post Vick era has the Falcons on a tear and it'll carry them to the head of their division.
On the other side, the Cowboys offense will face a challenge throwing the ball, since their Wide Receivers will be matched stride for stride by the Falcon's Db's. However, their gameplan should be to produce an unstoppable running attack laced with play-action. Since Atlanta has a depleted interior defense, the speed of Felix and Bruising of Barber should produce a legitimate shot at winning this game. Defensively, our linebackers will face a challenge but expect many sacks to come of, what I expect, to be an aggressive attack, if they can stop the run, they will make this game a one sided battle.
Matchup of the Game:
Bradie James and Keith Brooking Vs. Michael Turner
What IF sports prediction:
(10 simulated games)
Avg Score: DAL 24 ATL 16
DAL Win PCT: 80%
My Season Prediction
The Cowboys are prepared for battle defensively and brush out a lopsided one
ATL 13 – DAL 28
Next Series Installment: Philadelphia Eagles