Here are my Falcons-centric predictions:
|1. vs. Dolphins - W
2. vs. Panthers - L
3. at Patriots - L
5. at 49ers - W
6. vs. Bears - L
7. at Cowboys - L
8. at Saints - W
9. vs. Redskins - W
10. at Panthers - W
11. at Giants - L
12. vs. Bucs - W
13. vs. Eagles - L
14. vs. Saints - L
15. at Jets - W
16. vs. Bills - W
17. at Bucs - W
Passing: Matt Ryan (3,533 yards)
Rushing: Michael Turner (1,317 yards)
Receiving: Roddy White (1,244 yards)
Scoring: Michael Turner (12 TDs)
Tackles: Curtis Lofton (118)
Sacks: John Abraham (11.0)
Interceptions: Erik Coleman (3)
Scoring Offense: 4th
Total Offense: 4th
Scoring Defense: 15th
Total Defense: 26th
QB Matt Ryan – He’ll be an alternate behind Brees, Cutler, and Rodgers, but will play in the game because Cutler will be a scratch.
RB Michael Turner – Along with Adrian Peterson, he’ll back up Forte in Honolulu.
WR Roddy White – Another Pro Bowl bid for Roddy along with Steve Smith, Fitz, and Greg Jennings.
TE Tony Gonzalez – He’ll get in ahead of Greg Olsen to back up Jason Witten in the game.
1. Peria Jerry – He will finish second on the team with 4.5 sacks and start 13 games.
2. William Moore – He’ll log at least 6 starts by year’s end and finish with 82 tackles and an interception.
3. Chris Owens – He’ll contribute in both the nickel and on special teams, have a single interception with about 20 tackles on defense.
4. Lawrence Sidbury – He’ll contribute off the bench as a pass rush specialist and log 2 sacks.
5a. William Middleton – He’ll make some early appearances on special teams for the Bucs, but will finish the year on their practice squad.
5b. Garrett Reynolds – He’ll be active for a handful of games, but won’t get much playing time.
6. Spencer Adkins – He’ll log a handful of tackles on special teams, but play sparingly on defense.
7. Vance Walker – He’ll get called up to the active roster for a few weeks in the second half of the season due to injuries and will have 4 tackles by year’s end.
OTHER THINGS OF NOTE:
1. The Falcons offensive line will give up 29 sacks this year. Four of them will be on backup QB Chris Redman.
2. Tony Gonzalez will catch 71 passes for 838 yards and 8 touchdowns.
3. Mike Peterson will finish second on the team with 88 tackles.
4. Jerious Norwood will see his workload on offense increase. He’ll only catch 29 passes, but will have a career high 118 rushing attempts. That will be 16 more offensive touches, an average of one more per game.
5. Jonathan Babineaux will only have 3.5 sacks this year, but he’ll once again finish near the top of the league with 9 tackles for loss.
6. Jamaal Anderson will show minor improvement this year, and notch 2.5 sacks, although that production will matched by Kroy Biermann and surpassed by Chauncey Davis (3 sacks). Anderson will only wind up with 8 starts this year.
7. Brent Grimes will be the early leader in passes defended on the team, but due to some bad outings against the Cowboys, Saints, and Redskins in respective weeks will ultimately lose his starting job to Brian Williams by Week 10.
8. Eric Weems will be so good on punt returns early in the year, that the team will eventually replace Norwood on kickoffs to get him more touches, which will ultimately lead to Norwood’s increased workload on offense.