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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

Week
Opponent
Aaron 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 Pick
Allen'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

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Author: Aaron Freeman

Aaron is the founder of FalcFans.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Sorry, but I think the stat predictions are ridiculously pessimistic, starting with Matt Ryan. 4,500 yards will be his floor, with more weapons and a cleaner pocket. 8 wins and 8 losses I think is a reasonable projection, and it wouldn’t be terrible. They could come back in next year’s Draft and FA and get another OL, OLB, and a FS and they’d be in the mix. Defense is going to cost them this year. Inexperience and FS will result in costly big plays. I think they will be better than last year, better against the run and enough of a pass rush to slow down opposing offenses if they had the personnel on the back end but they don’t.

    BTW, I’m bitterly disappointed they didn’t draft Keith McGill, put him opposite TRU, and put Alford at NB. I felt like that would be a beastly trio at CB.

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