Although every Atlanta Falcons fan knows that their team has a dynamic, top-5 offense in the league, they also know the defense’ status is floating with uncertainty. Some people have told me that the season will depend on Matt Ryan and how he does. Well, unless he has a 2011 Philip Rivers 20 INT season, it will be fine. Their fate, in fact, will be based on how to defense does.
Quick Note: Remember that “ceiling” is the highest record the team can achieve this year, and the “floor” is the lowest mark a team could get.
Ceiling: 11-5: Let’s be honest, the Falcons probably won’t get to this mark (after all it is the ceiling). Matt Ryan and his elite offense will have to meet their expectations, which is high, and the defense will have to play at least like they did against the Tennessee Titans in preseason week three. Steven Jackson or his “little” apprentice Jacquizz will need to complement Ryan well, and of course Julio Jones had a spectacular season if they did this well. On defense, a lot will need to happen. Desmond Trufant can’t give up bombs like he did against Tennessee, and Jonathan Babineaux will have to lead the pass rush to be more productive. Hey, it’s a perfect world after all!
Floor: 4-12: Oh no, not that 4-12 record again? Don’t panic. This scenario is as unlikely to happen as the best case scenario for the Atlanta Falcons. With this disastrous record, I see a vision where the defense allows over 350 passing yards every game, while the secondary gets beat on game in and game out. The pass rush will be sub-par, with second round pick Rashede Hageman struggling to have that confidence in his pocket. But listen, even if the Dirty BIrd seriously does this bad again, I can almost guarantee that the offense will still be very good (unless, God forbid, there’s an injury). The combination of Ryan, Julio, and Roddy will be too much for opposing teams to handle, not to mention Devin Hester will be a serious offensive weapon this year.
There you have it, the best and worst case scenario for the 2014 Atlanta Falcons. It’s not a coincidence that the offense is still very good in both situations, they are just that good.