The Atlanta Falcons boasted a high-flying offense last season but suffered a monumental meltdown in the Super Bowl. The Dirty Birds now have a target on their backs which means tougher games in store. Let's review the NFL odds on their regular season win total and cash a ticket.
Sep. 17 Green Bay Packers 8:30 PM (LOSS)
Sep. 24 at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM (LOSS)
Oct. 1 Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM (WIN)
Oct. 8 BYE
Oct. 15 Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM (WIN)
Oct. 22 at New England Patriots 8:30 PM (LOSS)
Oct. 29 at New York Jets 1:00 PM (WIN)
Nov. 5 at Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM (LOSS)
Nov. 12 Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM (LOSS)
Nov. 20 at Seattle Seahawks (Mon) 8:30 PM (LOSS)
Nov. 26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM (WIN)
Dec. 3 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM (WIN)
Dec. 7 New Orleans Saints (Thu) 8:25 PM (WIN)
Dec. 18 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mon) 8:30 PM (WIN)
Dec. 24 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM (LOSS)
Dec. 31 Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM (WIN)
Season Record Prediction: 9-7
Falcons Stumble in '17
Atlanta scored 540 points last season which put them a whopping 71 points ahead of the No. 2 ranked offense, the New Orleans Saints. Quarterback Matt Ryan had an exceptional season, leading his Falcons to a Super Bowl date with New England and was named the NFL's MVP. In other words, Ryan was handed the keys to a Lamborghini and drove it flawlessly. But Matt Ryan has always been one click below the true elite signal callers and I can't help but believe that he will return to that second class status this season. Though Atlanta's offense was spectacular, their defense - not so much. And just what did they do to improve that side of the ball this season? They signed former Cowboy Jack Crawford and drafted the injury prone Takkarist McKinley as their first-round pick. Two edge rushers that may make very little impact this season.
Thus, we have an offense that will be scrutinized by every team they face this season with a quarterback who is due for a regression to the mean. We also have a defense that hasn't improved and a team that will psychologically have to rebound after the single greatest collapse in Super Bowl history. In addition, they will have to get used to a brand new stadium as they are leaving the Georgia Dome for their new digs at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
As for their schedule, their opponents for 2017 averaged a .521 win percentage from 2016 which ranks as the 13th most difficult slate this season. The silver lining is they won’t face a cold weather team in December but they do have an NFC title rematch with the Packers in Week 2 and a hellacious five-game stretch of games, four of which are on the road, starting October 22nd featuring a Super Bowl encore against the Patriots in Foxboro, then two more road games, followed by a home date with ever-dangerous Dallas Cowboys and lastly a trip to Seattle. That midseason stretch will either make or break the Falcons and we believe that it will cost them the division.
The NFL odds makers have set Atlanta's regular season win total at 10 (U-120) which feels like a solid number to me. However, I have them winning just nine games this season, therefore I will go under 10 (-120) as one of my NFL picks for future win totals this year, and you should too!Free NFL Pick: Atlanta Under 10 (-120) wins in 2017.