NFL



Atlanta Falcons

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GM: Thomas Dimitroff
HC: Mike Smith
2011: 10-6 (2nd NFC South)
2011 Quick Stats
Offence Defence
Pts
25.1
(7th)
Yds
376.6
(10th)
Pass Yds
262.0
(8th)
Rush Yds
114.6
(17th)
»Full Team Stats



Last Season

Head coach Mike Smith has led the Falcons to a winning record in each of his four seasons with the team, making the post-season three of those years.

In 2011, the Falcons reached the playoffs at 10-6, but ran into the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants.

It was the second straight year the Falcons had fallen to a team that gone on to win the title. This season, Smith will have his team focused on doing the eliminating come playoff time.

Who's In/Who's Out

Important Additions: CB Asante Samuel, FB Lousaka Polite, QB Luke McCown, S Chris Hope

Important Losses: FB Ovie Mughelli, MLB Curtis Lofton, WR Eric Weems, TE Reggie Kelly, CB Kelvin Hayden, QB Chris Redman, S James Sanders, CB Dominique Franks, LB Spencer Adkins, FB Mike Cox.

Drafted

Pick Player Pos Ht Wt College  
2 (55) Peter Konz C 6'5 314 Wisconsin C Peter Konz
Analysis: Konz is an intelligent player capable of being the leader on the offensive line, but is limited as an athlete.
3 (91) Lamar Holmes OT 6'5 323 Southern Miss
5 (157) Bradie Ewing FB 6'0 239 Wisconsin
5 (164) Jonathan Massaquoi DE 6'2 264 Troy
6 (192) Charles Mitchell S 5'11 202 Mississippi St.
7 (249) Travian Robertson DT 6'4 302 South Carolina
» Complete NFL Draft Results

Season Outlook

Reasons To Believe
1.
Armed And Dangerous - Matt Ryan threw for 4,177 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2011 as Atlanta ranked fourth in passes attempted. A team that was once reliant on their running game has opened up the playbook throwing to Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez. Jacquizz Rodgers is a dynamic back that can catch swing passes and take them to the house. The Falcons offence has all the elements to finally compete with the likes of Green Bay and New Orleans.

The Next Big Thing
The Falcons paid a heavy price to move up in the 2011 draft and acquire Julio Jones. Is this the year he establishes himself as one of the league's best receivers?

2. From Weakness To Strength - Asante Samuel joins a secondary that finished 20th in the NFL against the pass. By acquiring Samuel via trade, the Falcons now have three corners - Samuel, Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson - to help combat passing attacks. Samuel may be on the downside his career, but his presence helps bump everyone a notch down the depth chart, ultimately upgrading Atlanta's secondary.

3. Take It Easy - No one knows exactly how difficult a schedule will be before the season starts, but on paper Atlanta might owe the schedule makers a gift of some sort. Prior to their Week 7 bye, the Falcons face the all four teams from the AFC West, as well as the Redskins and Panthers. Not to set the bar too high, but there is a chance Atlanta reaches their bye week undefeated.


Reasons To Doubt
1. Who's On Deck? - If Ryan is sidelined at any point in the year, Luke McCown would be thrust into the starting lineup. Chris Redman was released in camp and the team brought in McCown to serve as the new backup. McCown will take some time to learn the system, but he is a slight upgrade on the departing Redman.

2. Centre of Attention - Curtis Lofton is no longer manning the centre of Atlanta's defence after leaving the team in free agency. That could be a significant loss considering Lofton was a dependable tackler and a leader on the defensive side of the ball. Third round pick Akeem Dent will get the first chance to start, with veteran Mike Peterson there as a safety net.

3. Down To A Flicker - Turner was well worth the free agent contract the Falcons signed him for to lure him away from the Chargers in 2008. Turner has averaged more than four yards per carry and scored double digit touchdowns ever since he arrived in Atlanta. However, those days may be coming to a quick end in 2012. Turner faded badly down the stretch last season, aside from a huge output against a Buccaneers team that had given up on their coach. The Falcons will need the younger, quicker Rodgers to step up and help keep the run game productive.

What To Expect
Even with Turner falling off, the Falcons are more than capable of challenging for the NFC Championship. New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter plans to set the passing attack loose to maximize the talents of the team's skill players. Assuming the defence is able to hold their own, Atlanta should return to the post-season and put up more of a fight than they have in their last two playoff outings.


Fantasy


Get ready for the season with the latest from TSN.ca.
Players: QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF | K
Fantasy Schedules: AFC | NFC
2012 Auction Values: Cheat Sheet
Fantasy Depth Charts: Offence


Team Schedule
Week Date vs Week Date vs
1 Sep 9 10 Nov 11
2
Sep 17 11 Nov 18
3 Sep 23 12 Nov 25
4 Sep 30 13 Nov 29
5 Oct 7 14 Dec 9
6 Oct 14 15 Dec 16
8 Oct 28 16 Dec 22
9 Nov 4 17 Dec 30
Bye Week: 7
» Full NFL Schedule



Podcasts

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: Septemeber 2nd - Alex Marvez

Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1 joins the show to discuss Jim Irsay, Michael Sam, and J.J Watt.

TSN 1050: Game Night: September 1 - Matt Florjancic

WKYC Cleveland's Matt Florjancic joins Andy McNamara and John Letherby on Game Night.

TSN 1050: Game Night: Joe Horrigan - July 30

Pro Football Hall of Fame VP of Communications Joe Horrigan joined Game Night with Jim Tatti & Andy McNamara to talk NFL Hall of Fame Weekend


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Detroit Lions at New York Jets - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Montreal, CTV Atlantic)


Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens - 1pm et/10am pt (TSN2)


Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers - 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt (CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener, CTV Ottawa, CTV Northern Ontario, CTV Montreal, CTV Vancouver, CTV Alberta, CTV Saskatchewan, CTV Two Atlantic, CKPR, CITL)


Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings - 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt (TSN2, CTV Winnipeg)


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8:15pm et/5:15pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


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New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs
7pm et/4pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


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