2020 Team Analysis and Schedule
The Atlanta Falcons came into the National Football League in 1966, and they are still looking for their first Super Bowl victory. The Falcons have lost almost 100 more games than they have won, but there have been some big years for the team.
Atlanta was less than 10 minutes away from winning the Super Bowl Odds in 2016, but they have really struggled since. The Falcons remain one of the top offensive teams in the league, but the roster still has plenty of holes.
Head coach Dan Quinn and quarterback Matt Ryan remain, and the duo is looking to find the magic again one final time. The Falcons have a tough schedule in 2020, but they must find a way to win some divisional games.
Falcons 2020 Schedule
|Week 1||Sept. 13||Seattle Seahawks|
|Week 2||Sept. 20||at Dallas Cowboys|
|Week 3||Sept. 27||Chicago Bears|
|Week 4||Oct. 5||at Green Bay Packers|
|Week 5||Oct. 11||Carolina Panthers|
|Week 6||Oct. 18||at Minnesota Vikings|
|Week 7||Oct. 25||Detroit Lions|
|Week 8||Oct. 29||at Carolina Panthers|
|Week 9||Nov. 8||Denver Broncos|
|Week 10||Nov. 15||Bye week|
|Week 11||Nov. 22||at New Orleans Saints|
|Week 12||Nov. 29||Las Vegas Raiders|
|Week 13||Dec. 6||New Orleans Saints|
|Week 14||Dec. 13||at Los Angeles Chargers|
|Week 15||Dec. 20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Week 16||Dec. 27||at Kansas City Chiefs|
|Week 17||Jan. 3||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
Atlanta Falcons News & Picks
Last Year’s History
The Atlanta Falcons’ 2019 campaign was a tale of two seasons, but unfortunately, the bad half won out. Atlanta finished 2019 with a regular season record of 7-9, which put them in second place in the NFC South.
Atlanta started the season by losing seven of its first eight games and was out of the playoff race before the second half began. The Falcons did win six of their final eight games, which could give them momentum heading into this season.
The Falcons went 4-2 against divisional opponents a season ago, including a surprising win against the New Orleans Saints. Injuries played a role for the Falcons, but they were able to rack up wins with all of their talent on the field.
The offense once again outperformed the defense, and the Falcons will be looking for some more balance heading into the 2020 season.
Atlanta Falcons Key Players
Matt Ryan (+3300 odds for NFL MVP in the BetUS sportsbook) has thrown for more than 4,100 yards every year since 2011, and he continues to be one of the best in the game. Ryan did throw 14 interceptions during the 2019 season, but he isn’t afraid to take some chances.
Ryan is entering his 13th season with the Falcons and is looking to lead them back to the playoffs in 2020. If he stays healthy and plays a full 16 games, Ryan should easily surpass the 4,500-yard mark passing in 2020.
Julio Jones might have lost a step or two, but he is still one of the best wide receivers in the National Football League. Jones remains the top target for Ryan, even though there are other talented weapons on the roster.
Jones had 99 receptions for 1,394 yards a season ago and has over 12,000 career receiving yards. Jones has battled some injuries over the last few seasons, but he remains a terrific performer when he is on the field.
Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett is entering his sixth season with the Atlanta Falcons, and he has gotten better each year in the league. Jarrett was a second-team All-Pro in 2019 and was named to the Pro Bowl team.
Jarrett had 7.5 sacks a season ago and is one of the leaders on that side of the ball. The Falcons don’t have a lot of great defensive players, and they will need another big season from Jarrett.
The former Clemson Tiger could rack up 10 sacks if he remains healthy the entire season.
Falcons New Additions
The Atlanta Falcons needed some help after another disappointing season, and they were aggressive this offseason. Atlanta signed RB Todd Gurley to a one-year deal, and Gurley should see plenty of touches if he remains healthy.
The Falcons also traded for TE Hayden Hurst, who is coming off a great season with the Baltimore Ravens. Hurst will replace tight end Austin Hooper, who is no longer with the team.
On defense, the Falcons brought in LB Dante Fowler in hopes of improving their pass rush. They also traded for DE Charles Harris from the Miami Dolphins.
Falcons Key subtractions
The Falcons lost a pair of key performers on each side of the ball, and that leaves some holes on the roster. Some of the players did not play well in 2019, but they were familiar names to Falcons fans.
RB Devonta Freeman is no longer with the team after struggling to stay healthy. The team will also be without TE Austin Hooper after he signed a deal with the Cleveland Browns. Both players were weapons for Matt Ryan, and that will impact the offense.
OLB Vic Beasley has moved on to the Arizona Cardinals, leaving a huge hole in the middle of the defense. CB Desmond Trufant signed a deal with the Detroit Lions, and he will be missed in the secondary.
Even though the Falcons finished in second place in the NFC South a season ago, that shouldn’t be viewed as an accomplishment. The NFC South was bad a season ago, but that should change a bit in 2020.
The New Orleans Saints went 13-3 in 2019, and they are expected to be great again in 2020. Atlanta could be in the mix for second place again, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will change things.
Tampa Bay upgraded its roster this offseason, and they should have an explosive offense this season. The Carolina Panthers are expected to finish in fourth place again, but the Falcons won’t be able to roll over them.
There is no doubt that when people think of the Atlanta Falcons’ offense, they think of two guys: Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. But, the X-factor for the 2020 season could be new addition Todd Gurley.
We have seen Gurley run wild in the past with the Rams, but this is a new offense, and he will face new defenses more often. The former Georgia Bulldog will need to garner full health first.
Ryan finished the 2019 season in total Matt Ryan fashion, winning the final four games and playing great football. Ryan tossed for nearly 4,500 yards, as the offense was known to pass first. With Gurley in the mix, we will see if that will change.
Finally, there is Jones. What a stud. Jones needed one more catch to reach 100 on the season. He finished with over 1,390 yards and got into the end zone six times. The leading touchdown receiver on the Falcons was Calvin Ridley with seven.
The Falcons gave up 24.9 points per game a season ago, and they can’t afford a repeat performance in 2020. Atlanta was right around the league average in both passing and rushing yards allowed per game, and they need to turn this around.
The Falcons head into the 2020 season without Vic Beasley, who has been one of their best defensive players. Finding someone to replace Beasley will be step number one, but they have other holes that they need to fill.
The Falcons want to win games with their offense, but they need their defense to do its part as well.
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