So, the mothership over at the four letter network released it’s way to early NFL Power Rankings. These are way too early, but another way to look at where our team stacks up against the rest and how we look from last year. So, let’s review:
ESPN has our Atlanta Falcons ranked 15th. WHAT!?! Only 15th?? There’s that Atlanta hate again blah blah. Well, this ranking is actually pretty good. This ranking reviewed our roster, QB, Draft, front office, and coaching. Per the ranking, our Roster and Draft advanced versus last year’s equivalent. Have to agree because we did add pieces to our roster that the team desperately needed. Adding Jackson and Soliai on the Defensive line was a huge boost and then adding Asomoah to the O line will pay off if he stays healthy. I agree, we did not address that killer sack artist, but hey something is better than nothing. The draft this year will make or break the franchise for the next few years. Three key areas of the draft were OL Matthews who should be a stud and All-Pro for years to come, Ra’Shede Hageman will hopefully become a monster and provide us the killer sack artist we desperately need, and then pure depth with Shembo, Smallwood, etc.
Now the bad side, ESPN is saying that Matt Ryan will take a step back and that has to be a reflection of losing Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White’s “reported” slide. I do not see Ryan taking a step back this year, but I also do not see him taking a step forward. The Offensive line will be 1,000% better (if they stay healthy) because we will no longer have turn styles at the tackles. I agree that Ryan will have to rely on Douglas and White for more help on passing downs due to the loss of Gonzalez. I hope Toilolo becomes a threat like other young TE’s but the fact is we did not see him too much with the HOF’er around. Those two things being said, Ryan will have to take a step forward in leadership and doing things for us to win games this season.
The other knocks on the Falcons were the Front Office and Coaching. We cannot put all of the blame for last season on these two factors. I appreciate Dimitroff and Mr. Blank going out and getting former GM’s to help run the club. This past draft, on paper, was better than a few in previous Dimitroff drafts and free agency this season was more fruitful for filling voids, but we still lack certain players and might suffer losses on the field due to those positions. Coaching, no way, should Coach Mike Smith be fired or on the hot seat until the season is over. Bringing in Tice and Cox will pay huge dividends on their respective positions, but Smith, Koetter, and Nolan are doing the best with the talent they have.
So wrapping this post up, ESPN’s way to damn early Power Ranking of the Atlanta Falcons is fair. We are second in the Division, behind the Saints and should be good enough for a Wildcard chance. Now let’s get camp started, so I don’t have to review these way too damn early Power Rankings again