The Atlanta Falcons finished the 2018 campaign with a record of 7-9. The injuries and poor play from the offensive line played a huge part in the disappointing results week in and week out. The 2019 campaign, however, will be different.
The schedule for the Falcons has them playing the NFC West and AFC South, as well as the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles and the usual home-and-home with the NFC South. I think the schedule is easy enough to give the Falcons a chance at making another playoff run.
Let’s start with the NFC South rivals. I think the Falcons will beat Tampa Bay and the Carolina Panthers twice. When it comes to the Saints, it is difficult to predict given the history and unexpected outcomes of this rivalry. I do think the Falcons will beat New Orleans in Atlanta, but will lose to the Saints in New Orleans.
In recent seasons, the Falcons have been terrible against AFC teams. Last season they were swept by the AFC North and the season before last they went 1-3 against the AFC East. The 2019 season will be a change in fortune for the Falcons. The Falcons will beat Jacksonville and Tennessee. I think the game with the Colts will be close with the Falcons eventually losing at the end. The game against Houston will also be tough, but I think the Falcons will win.
Moving onto the NFC West, the Falcons couldn’t have asked for a better draw. The Falcons will beat Arizona and San Francisco. The game against the Rams could be a repeat of the 2017 NFC Wild Card game with the Falcons stopping Todd Gurley and pulling out a win, which is what I think will happen. The game against Seattle will be tough like pretty much every Seattle-Atlanta game. I think the Falcons will lose this game because of the Seahawks ability to run the ball effectively.
That leaves the two games against Minnesota and Philadelphia. Unfortunately for Atlanta, the Falcons haven’t had much luck beating either team in recent seasons. I think the Falcons will ultimately lose both games.
At 11-5, the Falcons could be looking at a deep playoff run similar to the magical 2016 season that would make the memory of the 7-9 season seem like a distant memory.