Atlanta Falcons 2019 Season Preview

Russell S. Baxter

Atlanta Falcons 2019 Season Preview

By Nigel Christianson

Special to Pro Football Guru

The 2018 Atlanta Falcons had high expectations. Arguably the healthiest team headed into the season, it appeared as though the team were destined to host the Lombardi in their own building. All of that quickly changed as they would lose key starters for the remainder of the season. Now, fully back to health and with an MVP caliber quarterback in Matt Ryan, expectations remain the same – this time, with hopes of the season ending in South Florida. Let’s take a look at why this team has what it takes to be Super Bowl champions.

Offense: The Atlanta Falcons’ offense does not go unnoticed. Matt Ryan threw for 35 scores (7 interceptions) and ran for three touchdowns. Building on his impressive resume even behind an offensive line that put him under pressure at an all-time high rate. The Falcons didn’t ignore that this offseason, drafting Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom and University of Washington right tackle Kaleb McGary in the first round. Both are big, physical offensive lineman who should step in and keep Ryan on his feet in 2019. Let’s not forget an exciting group of wide receivers in Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Mohamed Sanu – perhaps the best unit in the NFL. Mixing that unit with a growing backfield with Devonta Freeman, Ito Smith, Brian Hill and rookie Qadree Ollison, the Falcons are on their way to the top once again.

Defense: The re-signings of defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and middle linebacker Deion Jones set the tone this offseason. The two staple pieces on defense are now locked into long-term deals. It’s a sigh of relief for general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn – both who have put together one of the youngest defensive units in the league. With safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen returning to action this season, the Falcons should be in full force as the year kicks off. Is this a defense that has been forgotten about because of all the injuries that occurred early in 2018?

Special Teams: Giorgio Tavecchio no longer holds the reigns to being the Falcons’ placekicker in 2019. The team has become worried with the young kicker now missing four field goals this preseason. The signing of Blair Walsh certainly brings in competition – although it is fascinating that Matt Bryant is still unemployed.

Prediction: In a jam-packed NFC South, the Falcons can still be considered favorites. The 2018 season was an outlier in many ways, and this year couldn’t have been laid out any better for the team. All told, 13 of their 16 games are played under a roof and they don’t see outdoors until Week 11. It’s safe to say that the schedule plays in their favor and for what it’s worth, Ryan is 66-36 indoors. If the Falcons end up with a top seed in the NFC, look out.

Win-Loss Record: 12-4 (1st place, NFC South, win Super Bowl LIV)

Nigel Christianson (@Nigel_ATL) is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage (@FPCoverage) and Full Press Coverage Falcons (@FPCFalcons).

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