Ultimate 2014 Predictions

As I’ve done for each of the past four seasons, I have to make my official predictions not only for the upcoming Atlanta Falcons season, but the NFL as a whole.

But unlike past years, I’ve brought in some help. FalcFans podcast co-host and Pro Football Spot Falcons writer, Allen Strk, is along for the ride to give his insights into the 2014 NFL season.

2014 Atlanta Falcons Schedule Projection

Final Record: 8-8

WeekOpponentAaron Says:Allen Says:
1SaintsLL
2at BengalsLL
3BuccaneersWW
4at VikingsWW
5at GiantsWL
6BearsLL
7at RavensLL
8LionsWW
9bye
10at BuccaneersLW
11at PanthersLL
12BrownsWW
13CardinalsWW
14at PackersLL
15SteelersWW
16at SaintsLL
17PanthersWW

2014 NFL Standings Projection

While I give just the win-loss records, Allen provides a brief blurb explaining his picks for each team.

Aaron's PickAllen's Pick
AFC EAST
New England (12-4)New England (12-4): Health will play key in their Super Bowl hopes. A better defense only propels them to more dominance.
NY Jets (9-7)Miami (7-9): A lack of playmakers on both sides of the ball makes them fall short.
Miami (6-10)NY Jets (6-10): Rex can only do so much with a poor secondary and passing game.
Buffalo (5-11)Buffalo (4-12): EJ Manuel looks shaky, while the losses of Byrd and Alonso will hurt significantly
AFC NORTH
Baltimore (10-6)Cincinnati (11-5): The buzz is dropping, but the front seven is still sturdy and A.J Green is a major difference maker.
Cincinnati (8-8)Baltimore (10-6): An easy schedule and more playmakers offensively will lead them back into the playoffs.
Pittsburgh (7-9)Pittsburgh (8-8): The magic of Roethlisberger somehow leads a mediocre team to the playoffs.
Cleveland (6-10)Cleveland (4-12): Another year of waiting for the bright future to come about.
AFC SOUTH
Indianapolis (10-6)Indianapolis (11-5): A bit overrated, but clearly far more talented than the rest of the division.
Houston (8-8)Houston (7-9): Improvement is a guarantee from their front four and playmakers. Quarterback play will be their main hindrance.
Tennessee (5-11)Tennessee (5-11): The lack of playmakers offensively and issues in the secondary will cripple them.
Jacksonville (3-13)Jacksonville (4-12): I'm waiting to see the Blake Bortles era come about, along with this new-look defensive line.
AFC WEST
Denver (14-2)Denver (13-3): The absolute juggernaut of spectacular talent on both sides.
Kansas City (8-8)San Diego (7-9): A tougher schedule and lack of development on defense means a drop is coming.
San Diego (7-9)Kansas City (6-10): Three offensive lineman left and no playmakers were added offensively. A major drop will occur.
Oakland (2-14)Oakland (1-15): Toughest schedule in the league. The offense is a wreck, while the defense is full of past their prime players.
NFC EAST
Philadelphia (10-6)Philadelphia (11-5): The loss of Jackson will hurt, but a weak division will ease the loss.
Dallas (8-8)Washington (8-8): A risky pick, but unbelievable offensive talent and a solid front seven will lead to a major improvement.
Washington (6-10)NY Giants (7-9): They could easily drop to five games, but I'm a Tom Coughlin believer in getting the best out of talent.
NY Giants (6-10)Dallas (7-9): Another team that could significantly drop. Tony Romo will get a few more wins out of them.
NFC NORTH
Chicago (10-6)Green Bay (11-5): The defense is still a major question mark, but the offense is still an unstoppable juggernaut when Rodgers is healthy.
Green Bay (9-7)Chicago (10-6): As long as they stay healthy, resurgence will come about. Jared Allen and Lamar Houston will make a major impact.
Detroit (8-8)Detroit (9-7): A more disciplined and improved Detroit team. A poor secondary will cost them a wild card spot.
Minnesota (6-10)Minnesota (6-10): In a weaker division, they would be a sleeper. Mike Zimmer and Norv Turner will get the best out of them.
NFC SOUTH
New Orleans (11-5)New Orleans (12-4): Very flew flaws and an absolute offensive juggernaut. Jarius Byrd will be a game changer.
Tampa Bay (9-7)Atlanta (8-8): Improvement is a guarantee with Julio Jones back. The lack of pass rush could cost Mike Smith his job.
Atlanta (8-8)Tampa Bay (8-8): Doug Martin needs to bounce back to solidify the offense. The defense is solid, but can they score enough points?
Carolina (7-9)Carolina (6-10): Major holes at wide receiver, offensive line, and cornerback will be exposed. A great pass rush can only do so much.
NFC WEST
Seattle (13-3)Seattle (13-3): Don't expect the best defense to fall off. Russell Wilson will keep things afloat.
San Francisco (11-5)San Francisco (12-4): The injuries, arrests, and age seem to be catching up the defense. Colin Kaepernick will need to step up.
Arizona (8-8)Arizona (8-8): The loss of Dockett, Washington, and Dansby will be tough to recover from. You can only rely on Carson Palmer for so long.
St. Louis (6-10)St. Louis (6-10): Another year of waiting due to major questions offensively. A receiver needs to break out in the worst way.

Aaron’s Picks:

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Julio Jones…Comeback Player of the Year?

AFC PLAYOFFS
Round 1: Ravens over Jets
Round 1: Colts over Texans
Round 2: Broncos over Ravens
Round 2: Patriots over Colts
Championship Game: Patriots over Broncos

NFC PLAYOFFS
Round 1: 49ers over Eagles
Round 1: Bears over Buccaneers
Round 2: 49ers over Seahawks
Round 2: Saints over Bears
Championship Game: 49ers over Saints

Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots over 49ers

2014 League Awards

League MVP: Peyton Manning, Broncos
Offensive Player of the Year: Peyton Manning, Broncos
Defensive Player of the Year: Darrelle Revis, Patriots
Comeback Player of the Year: Julio Jones, Falcons
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Johnny Manziel, Browns
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jadeveon Clowney, Texans
Coach of the Year: Lovie Smith, Buccaneers

Last Undefeated Teams:
New England (8-0)
Seattle (6-0)
New Orleans (5-0)

Last Winless Teams:
Oakland (0-10)
Jacksonville (0-7)
Tampa Bay (0-3)

Allen’s Picks:

Getty Images from Yahoo!

Drew Brees…League MVP?

AFC Playoffs
Round 1: Bengals over Steelers
Round 1: Colts over Ravens
Round 2: Broncos over Colts
Round 2: Patriots over Bengals
Championship game: Broncos over Patriots

NFC Playoffs
Round 1: Packers over Bears
Round 1: 49ers over Eagles
Round 2: Seahawks over 49ers
Round 2: Saints over Packers
Championship game: Saints over Seahawks

Super Bowl XLIX: Broncos over Saints

2014 League Awards

League MVP: Drew Brees, Saints
Offensive Player of the Year: LeSean McCoy, Eagles
Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, Texans
Comeback Player of the Year: Julio Jones, Falcons
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Brandin Cooks, Saints
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jadeveon Clowney, Texans
Coach of the Year: John Harbaugh, Ravens

Last Undefeated Teams:
Chicago (6-0)
New Orleans (5-0)
Baltimore (4-0)

Last Winless Teams:
Jacksonville (0-6)
Tennessee (0-5)
Oakland (0-4)

2014 Falcons Statistical Projections

This is all me as Allen will bow out of the super nerdy aspect of projecting stats.

Passing
Matt Ryan: 596 attempts, 393 comp., 65.9%, 4372 yards, 29 TDs, 14 INTs, 94.0 rating
T.J. Yates: 29 attempts, 17 comp., 58.6%, 183 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 60.0 rating

Rushing
Steven Jackson: 166 attempts, 653 yards, 3.9 avg, 7 TDs; 35 catches, 248 yards, 7.1 avg, 2 TDs
Jacquizz Rodgers: 93 attempts, 363 yards, 3.9 avg, 1 TD; 38 catches, 266 yards, 7.0 avg, 1 TD
Devonta Freeman: 78 attempts, 321 yards, 4.1 avg, 2 TDs; 25 catches, 203 yards, 8.1 avg, 1 TD
Antone Smith: 26 attempts, 131 yards, 5.0 avg, 3 TDs; 11 catches, 113 yards, 10.3 avg, 1 TD
Devin Hester: 16 attempts, 71 yards, 4.4 avg, 0 TDs

Receiving
Roddy White: 87 catches, 1112 yards, 12.8 avg, 6 TDs
Julio Jones: 71 catches, 1047 yards, 14.7 avg, 8 TDs
Harry Douglas: 55 catches, 699 yards, 12.7 avg, 3 TDs
Levine Toilolo: 37 catches, 312 yards, 8.4 avg, 3 TDs
Devin Hester: 29 catches, 394 yards, 13.6 avg, 4 TDs
Bear Pascoe: 9 catches, 71 yards, 7.9 avg, 0 TDs

Kicking
Matt Bryant: 27 for 31 FG, 43 for 43 PAT, 124 points

Punting
Matt Bosher: 55 punts, 46.8 avg, 41.3 net avg

Returns
Devin Hester: 21 KOR, 24.2 avg, 0 TDs
Devin Hester: 28 PR, 12.7 avg, 1 TD

Defense
Paul Worrilow: 122 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 FFs
Desmond Trufant: 72 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 FF
William Moore: 71 tackles, 1 sack, 4 INTs, 3 FFs
Robert Alford: 67 tackles, 3 INTs, 1 FF
Prince Shembo: 65 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF
Dwight Lowery: 56 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 FF
Kroy Biermann: 49 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 FF
Jonathan Massaquoi: 46 tackles, 8 sacks, 2 FF
Robert McClain: 34 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 FF
Joplo Bartu: 33 tackles 1.5 sacks
Jonathan Babineaux: 29 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 FF
Malliciah Goodman: 23 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF
Josh Wilson: 21 tackles, 1 INT, 1 FF
Kemal Ishmael: 20 tackles
Tyson Jackson: 19 tackles, 1 sack
Osi Umenyiora: 18 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 4 FFs
Corey Peters: 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks
Paul Soliai: 16 tackles, 1 sack
Javier Arenas: 12 tackles
Dezmen Southward: 9 tackles
Ra’Shede Hageman: 8 tackles, 0.5 sacks

Author: Aaron Freeman

Aaron is the founder of FalcFans.com.

Share This Post On