Falcons 2014 Season Win Total
LAS VEGAS, LV (The Spread) – Some might look at the Atlanta Falcons’ win total for 2014 and think it’s too low. But we’re not so sure.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Falcons’ win total for 2014 is currently sitting at 8.5. Atlanta is also 25/1 long shots to win the 2015 Super Bowl, 14/1 long shots to win their conference, and 11/4 long shots to win the NFC South Division in 2014. The Falcons suffered multiple injuries to key starters a year ago and slumped to a 4-12 finish.
The Falcons had a busy offseason, spending big money on defensive linemen Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson, as well as offensive lineman Jon Asamoah and returner/receiver Devin Hester. Dwight Lowery is projected to start at free safety this year, while Javier Arenas and Josh Wilson will add depth in the team’s secondary.
In the draft, Atlanta continued its makeover along the offensive line by taking Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews with the sixth overall pick. The team also selected a bevy of defenders, including Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, Wisconsin safety Dezmen Southward, and linebackers Prince Shembo of Notre Dame, Marquis Spruill of Syracuse and Yawin Smallwood of Connecticut. Ricardo Allen, a cornerback out of Purdue, was taken in the fifth round.
Some believe the Falcons are in store for a major rebound but we think 8-8 is a more realistic finish for Atlanta. Julio Jones is recovering from a foot injury and is unlikely to be at full strength at the start of the year, even if he does start Week 1. The running game is also a concern and depth is still an issue at receiver.
But the offense won’t hold the Falcons back this year: It’ll be the defense. Mike Nolan is a master game planner but he simply doesn’t have the pass rushers or impact players to put together a top 15 unit. Granted, they should be better against the run with the additions of Soliai and Jackson, but they did nothing to improve their third-down defense. Simply put, the Falcons will have to outscore a lot of teams this year if they’re going to win more than 8 games in 2014.