So you know from my NFC predictions, I pick the Falcons to finish last in the NFC South, but here’s my predictions and projections for some of the things that happen this year.
Schedule & Results
Week 1 – Detroit – W
Week 2 – at Tampa Bay – L
Week 3 – Kansas City – W
Week 4 – at Carolina – L
Week 5 – at Green Bay – L
Week 6 – Chicago – L
Week 8 – at Philadelphia – L
Week 9 – at Oakland – L
Week 10 – New Orleans – L
Week 11 – Denver – L
Week 12 – Carolina – W
Week 13 – at San Diego – L
Week 14 – at New Orleans – L
Week 15 – Tampa Bay – W
Week 16 – at Minnesota – L
Week 17 – St. Louis – W
I’m predicting the Falcons to finish this year 5-11. I think they will have a nice start to their season, winning 2 of their first 3 games. And everybody will be firmly on the Matt Ryan bandwagon. And then they’ll go into a skid, losing 7 straight, which basically ends any playoff chances. But then we’ll improve down the stretch and win a few more games to improve our record.
Some projections for what kind of numbers guys will put up.
PASSING ATT CMP PCT YDS TD INT RTG
Matt Ryan 450 265 58.9 2850 14 17 72.1
Chris Redman 75 45 60.0 525 3 5 66.8
RUSHING ATT YDS AVG TD
Michael Turner 280 1125 4.0 7
Jerious Norwood 110 600 5.5 2
Matt Ryan 40 100 2.5 1
RECEIVING NO YDS AVG TD
Roddy White 80 1025 12.8 6
Michael Jenkins 50 525 10.5 3
Jerious Norwood 45 425 9.4 1
Laurent Robinson 40 450 11.3 2
Harry Douglas 30 375 12.5 2
Ben Hartsock 25 225 9.0 1
Michael Turner 20 150 7.5 1
Ovie Mughelli 15 100 6.7 1
KICKING FGM FGA XPM XPA
Jason Elam 30 36 28 28
PUNTING NO YDS AVG NET
Michael Koenen 90 3850 42.8 38.5
DEFENSE TCK SACK INT FF
Michael Boley 110 3.0 1 2
Keith Brooking 105 1.5 0 0
Curtis Lofton 95 1.5 1 2
Lawyer Milloy 90 1.0 1 1
Chris Houston 75 0.0 1 0
Erik Coleman 70 0.0 3 1
Brent Grimes 55 0.0 2 0
Jamaal Anderson 45 4.5 0 1
Domonique Foxworth 35 0.0 1 0
Jonathan Babineaux 35 4.0 1 0
Chevis Jackson 30 0.0 1 0
John Abraham 25 7.5 0 3
Grady Jackson 25 1.0 0 0
Simon Fraser 20 2.0 0 0
Stephen Nicholas 20 0.0 0 0
Kroy Biermann 15 2.0 0 0
Kindal Moorehead 15 2.0 0 0
Chauncey Davis 15 1.0 0 0
Stephen Nicholas 15 0.0 0 1
Coy Wire 15 0.0 0 0
Thomas DeCoud 10 0.0 0 0
Jamaal Fudge 10 0.0 0 1
Tony Gilbert 10 0.0 0 0
Antoine Harris 10 0.0 0 0
David Irons 10 0.0 0 0
Jason Jefferson 10 0.0 0 0
Where the Falcons will rank in comparison to the rest of the league.
Rushing Offense: 120 ypg (13th in NFL)
Passing Offense: 210 ypg (20th in NFL)
Total Offense: 330 ypg (19th in NFL)
Scoring Offense: 17 ppg (24th in NFL)
Rushing Defense: 125 ypg (25th in NFL)
Passing Defense: 245 ypg (31st in NFL)
Total Defense: 370 ypg (31st in NFL)
Scoring Defense: 25 ppg (30th in NFL)
Turnover: -6 (23rd in NFL)
Well, you saw that I had the Colts in the Super Bowl from my AFC predictions, and the Eagles from my NFC predictions. So now we find out who wins it all.
Of course, I’m picking the Colts. I’m no fool. Always pick the AFC. I think we’ll be hearing all about Tony Dungy going out on top come February, and then I’ll probably be thinking because of all the hype they are giving the Colts, the Eagles have a chance to upset them. But then in the game, the Eagles will be a bit lackluster. They’ll remain in the game, as they did in the 2004 Super Bowl against the Patriots, but they’ll just come up short.
And while I’ve predicted the Colts-Eagles in the big game, I’ll mention a few more teams that I think can go from each division:
Patriots – I have them in the conference championship, so it’s not going to be a big stretch to see them in the Super Bowl.
Chargers – Now I’m sure most people think they have a shot, but I don’t. I just can’t see a Norv Turner-coached team in the Super Bowl.
Steelers & Jaguars – They are talented enough to make it to the game, but I don’t think Tomlin or Del Rio are Super Bowl coaches (yet).
Cowboys – They are a circus. They’ll win a lot of games, but they won’t be able to lock down their mental toughness at the end and win. And again, I can’t imagine Wade Phillips coaching a team in the Super Bowl, no matter how talented.
Saints – I could see them getting hot and making a playoff push, but I don’t think they’ll have the defense to get them over.
Panthers – If their running game is on, then I see good things for the Panthers, but everything will have to fall into place for them to get back to the Super Bowl.
Seahawks – This is my dark horse pick for the Super Bowl, just because I think they’ll have one of the better defenses in the league, and they definitely have the experience.
Vikings – They have a great running game and defense, but at the end of the day, I think Tarvaris Jackson is going to have to win them some games in the playoffs. I don’t think he’s ready (nor do I think he’ll ever be ready).
Well, I already got the AFC teams going. Now here are the NFC teams.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
Yeah, I picked the Eagles to win 12 games this year.
2. Dallas Cowboys
They’ll probably win 11 or 12 games as well, but won’t win the division.
3. New York Giants
A good team but I expect significant dropoff from last year.
4. Washington Redskins
They’ll be competing with the Titans for the best last place team in the league.
1. Minnesota Vikings
They should no problem rolling in this division.
2. Green Bay Packers
Rodgers will take his licks, but they’ll be a competitive team.
3. Chicago Bears
They’ll improve from last year, but this is not a good football team.
4. Detroit Lions
I’m not buying that this team is improving under Marinelli.
1. New Orleans Saints
The Saints will look more like their ’06 version than ’07 version.
2. Carolina Panthers
This should be a year in which the Panthers should make the playoffs.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
They’ll be one of the toughest 7-9 teams around.
4. Atlanta Falcons
I’m sorry, it’s just not going to happen.
1. Seattle Seahawks
Their defense should help them roll in this division.
2. St. Louis Rams
We’ll see some life in this team but they won’t finish above .500.
3. Arizona Cardinals
They’ll be competitive, but will still manage to lose more games than they should.
4. San Francisco 49ers
Sayonara Mike Nolan. The highlight of your tenure there was how good you looked in a suit, not your football team.
Eagles take out the Vikings in the conference championship game. The other playoff teams will be the Cowboys, Saints, Seahawks, and Panthers.
Here are my predictions for the AFC for the 2008 season.
1. New England Patriots
No surprise picking the Patriots to win this weak division. They’ll probably win at least 13 games again this year.
2. New York Jets
Their moves in the off-season should improve their record, but they are still far from a playoff team.
3. Buffalo Bills
The Bills are a young up and coming team. But they are a bit too young. I think they could be a team to watch in 2009 or 2010, but not yet.
4. Miami Dolphins
This is one of the worst teams in the NFL.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
This division has no other playoff teams. Steelers shouldn’t have too much trouble winning this division.
2. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals aren’t good, but they are probably the second best team in this division.
3. Cleveland Browns
One of the most overrated teams in the league this year. I think they will be like the 2007 Saints, a trendy pick for the playoffs that won’t come close to it.
4. Baltimore Ravens
They are too young on offense and too old on defense. Not a good combination.
1. Indianapolis Colts
Will as usual be one of the top teams in the AFC.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
I don’t really like the Jaguars, but I can’t deny that they are going to win a lot of games and probably make the playoffs again.
3. Houston Texans
Earlier, I thought the Texans could make the playoffs this year, but not so much anymore. They should get close and hover around .500 though.
4. Tennessee Titans
They will probably be the best last place team in the league, finishing just below .500 as well.
1. San Diego Chargers
This team is going to win a lot of games this year, but I don’t like their playoff chances.
2. Denver Broncos
Finally Mike Shanahan should lead this team back to the playoffs.
3. Oakland Raiders
They’ll win a few games, but they’ll still be one of the league’s lesser teams.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Again, one of the worst teams in the league. Will be lucky to win 5 games.
The Colts go into Foxboro and beat the Patriots, a big stunner. The six playoff teams will be the Pats, Colts, Chargers, Steelers, Broncos, and Jaguars.
The Falcons announced even more tweaking of their roster today. Not only did they confirm that the trade of Domonique Foxworth was completed, but also that they added safety Jamaal Fudge as well. To make room for the two new defensive backs, cornerback Blue Adams and fullback Corey McIntyre were cut.
Fudge was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday. Like previously signed linebacker Tony Gilbert, Fudge has past experience working with some of the Falcons coaches due to that shared time in Jacksonville.
Fudge was an undrafted free agent with the Jaguars in 2006. He has played primarily on special teams the past two years. He has played in 20 games, recording 8 tackles on regular defense and 13 on special teams.
Adams was signed by the Falcons in July. McIntyre was added by the team in November 2006. He served as the team’s special teams captain last season. With his release, it’s likely that Jason Snelling will pull double duty as a reserve fullback and tailback.
The Denver post reported on Monday that the Denver Broncos were on the verge of trading cornerback Domonique Foxworth. CBS 4 out of Denver reports that Foxworth will be traded to the Falcons in exchange for a conditional seventh round draft pick. Foxworth will be a free agent after this season, and according to reports that pick will turn into a sixth rounder if he re-signs with the Falcons after the season.
The Denver Post also reported that the Kansas City Chiefs have shown interest in the young cornerback. Foxworth, a fourth year veteran with the Broncos. The Falcons depth at cornerback was shaken when they lost free agent signing Von Hutchins for the season. In three seasons with the Broncos, Foxworth has started 18 games, recording 173 tackles and 3 interceptions. His best season was as a rookie where he had 70 tackles and 2 interceptions. Foxworth could push Chevis Jackson for the nickel corner spot.
Today the Falcons made more moves in part of finalizing it’s final 53-man roster and 8-man practice squad. The team signed linebacker Tony Gilbert and tight end Justin Peelle. To make room for them, on the roster, they released linebacker Tony Taylor and tight end Jason Rader. And to fill out their practice squad the team added defensive end Sean Conover and running back Ken Darby.
Gilbert played in Jacksonville the past five seasons, gaining experience with many coaches currently on the Falcons. Like Taylor, Gilbert was a Georgia alum. In his career, he has appeared in 56 games primarily on special teams. For his career, he has 13 tackles on defense and 1 sack. Taylor started the first two preseason games at middle linebacker, but was surpassed by second round draft pick Curtis Lofton by the end of preseason. Gilbert will now serve as Lofton’s backup.
Peelle was released by the Miami Dolphins. He spent several years with the San Diego Chargers (2002-05) and Dolphins (2006-07). In his career, he has 85 catches for 614 yards (7.2 avg) and 7 touchdowns , having started 39 of 93 games. Throughout his career, he has been used primarily as a blocker. Peelle will replace Rader as the team’s backup tight end behind Ben Hartsock.
Conover, recently cast off from the Tennessee Titans. He has played in 11 games the past two years with 2 starts, recording 10 tackles.
Darby was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2007 draft. He played in only 1 game last year, rushing for 9 yards on 2 carries and having 2 catches for 16 yards. During this past preseason with the Bucs, he rushed 32 times for 102 yards (3.2 avg) and 4 catches for 32 yards.