Yes, Matt Ryan and the high-flying Atlanta Falcons are going under 7.5 wins in 2020. And, no, *God Turley* can’t save them from this fate.
Falcons fans… look away.
The NFC South is “Built Ford Tough” with the Saints and Bucs leading the way: the Bucs with Brady, Gronk, Evans, Godwin and a projected top-10 defense are scary. Add to the fold a hungry Saints team, burned by no-calls and the Minneapolis Miracle, vying for redemption with a Super Bowl win as the Brees era closes.
Tell me, do you think it’s likely this Falcons team finishes better than 3rd in their division?
2019 3rd Place Finishers:
Let’s face it. The Falcons are going to finish 3rd in their division. So, I did what any rational person would do. I looked at each division’s third place finishers for the 2019 season. My findings? Only two teams finished with more than 8 wins: the Bears at 8-8 and Rams at 9-7. Six out of eight teams finishing below 8 wins (75%) is a good start for me, especially when you consider the Falcons are also up against the projected second hardest schedule in 2020.
For reference, the Falcons went 7-9 last year. Their 2020 schedule is below. I am hard-pressed to find 8 wins. Can you?
Don’t worry, I’ll wait: Falcons 2020 Schedule
Hole-y Offensive Line:
The Falcons O-line sucks. Under Dan Quinn, the Falcons run blocking has gotten worse in each of the last three seasons and signing a past-prime Todd Gurley (with irreversible arthritis in his knee) is not the answer.
For a little more context, Rookie Kaleb McGary led the league with 46 blown blocks and 13.5 sacks allowed. But, let’s go easy on the rook. He should improve. How about those salty vets in Jack Mathews and Alex Mack? These are guys with Super Bowl pedigree. Well, together, they tripled their blown block total in one year (from 13 to 39). A combination of the above will have Matt Ryan running for his life for yet another year.
Let’s level set. The Falcons can look like a Top 5 team…
But, they can also look like a Bottom 5 team.
For example, the Falcons started the 2019 season 3-9 to then rattle off four straight wins to close the season. They looked like two different teams.
Need another example? How about a 21-0 Super Bowl lead that was choked away and considered one of the biggest collapses in sports history?
Unequivocally, the Dan Quinn era has been plagued by inconsistency.
Injury History (Bonus Reason!)
Some of the inconsistency over the years can be attributed to injury. If the self-proclaimed brotherhood wants a shot at nabbing 8 wins, they need to prove they can stay healthy (particularly on the defensive side of the ball). I’m talking to you Keanu Neal and Deion Jones. Both of these guys are studs but have spent 38 of the last 64 games on the sidelines. To quote the great Brian Dawkins, “The best ability is availability.”
UNDER 7.5 at EVEN Money
For me, it’s simple. Take the under 7.5 wins for the Falcons at even money and feel comfortable doing so. There are two Super Bowl contenders in their division, management did not do enough to address their leaky O-line, and let history be the lesson for those consistently inconsistent Falcons.
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