Falcons Season Win Total Prediction
The Atlanta Falcons are only two years removed from reaching the Super Bowl and their defense appears ready to take that preverbal next step. That said, some believe they're also overrated and are in a current contract dispute with star receiver Julio Jones. Is this a double-digit win team still?
Atlanta Falcons Season Odds
Oddsmakers have set the Falcons' season win total for 2018 at 9. The over carries odds of 4/5 while the under has odds of 20/21. Atlanta is also 22/1 to win the Super Bowl, 13/1 to win the NFC title, and 2/1 to win the NFC South Division this upcoming season.
Atlanta's offseason started with contract restructures with guard Andy Levitre and defensive end Brooks Reed. Fellow defensive lineman Derrick Shelby was also released, then brought back at a cheaper salary.
Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson was re-signed for depth and special teams ace Justin Bethel was signed in free agency. Perhaps the most significant signing was that of guard Brandon Fusco, who will likely start after playing for the 49ers last year. Matt Ryan also received a huge contract extension and tight end Logan Paulsen was added for depth.
In the draft, the Falcons selected Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the first round. He'll slot in behind Julio Jones (who is in the middle of a contract dispute with the team) and Mohamed Sanu to form one of the best receiver corps in the league. In the second round, the selected lengthy corner Isaiah Oliver from Colorado and in the third the Falcons took defensive tackle Deadrin Senat of South Florida. Ito Smith was taken in the fourth round as the eventual replacement for Tevin Coleman, who becomes a free agent after the season.
The Falcons won 10 games last season and that should be their floor again in 2018. I don't see how this team gets worse, although they do play in the toughest division in the NFL and certainly in the better conference of the two. Still, their defense features rising stars in linebacker Deion Jones, safety Keanu Neal, and pass-rusher Vic Beasley, who will play exclusively at defensive end after he was used a lot in coverage a year ago due to injuries to the linebacker corps. Second-year player Takk McKinley should also provide this team with a solid rush off the edge.
Of course, the strength of this team remains on the offensive side of the ball. Assuming Jones reports to the team by training camp or Week 1, then this offense remains one of the most explosive in the league. In Jones, Sanu, Coleman, Ridley and Devonta Freeman, the Falcons have one of the best group of skill positions in the league.
Can the Falcons win the Super Bowl? It's unlikely that they get through the gauntlet of the NFC South and the NFC but they certainly of the talent to accomplish the feat. Nevertheless, I like this team to win at least 9 games.
Atlanta Falcons Season Win Total Prediction: Over 9