The Atlanta Falcons parted ways with coach Mike Smith after seven seasons. This change in coaching came after two losing seasons, in which they finished third in the NFC South. Last season, Atlanta went 6-10 overall with a record of 6-6 vs. NFC opponents. Although they possessed the best NFC South Division record, 5-1, starting the season going 2-6 through the first eight games derailed their hopes of making the playoffs. Under new coach Dan Quinn, who previously was the Defensive Coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks, the Falcons need to fix major holes in both the offense and defense to avoid a third losing season in a row.
Atlanta conceded the most yards in all of the NFL last season. Allowing 398.2 yards total yards and 26.1 points per game, bringing in a defensive minded coach was the first step in addressing those issues. To reinforce the secondary, which allowed 279.9 yards per game in the air, they signed former New York Jets cornerback Phillip Adams. This signing was not the only notable defensive signing; adding linebackers Brooks Read, O’Brien Schofield and defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn. The Falcons plan is to add talent and depth rather than pursuing the bigger name free agents.
The Falcons will open the 2015 season with a new look offense. After releasing running back Steven Jackson and wide receiver Harry Douglas, they added three new threats to their passing game. Tight ends Jacob Tamme and Tony Moeaki will split time at tight end, while former Bengals wide out Leonard Hankerson will join Roddy White and Julio Jones in a solid receiving core.
Entering the 2015 NFL Draft, the front office needs to find a solution to the absence of a strong running game, which played a large hand missing the playoffs. The Falcons hold possession of the eighth overall pick as well as the 42nd and 73rd. These spots will most likely be used to add speed to their defense and add a running back to take the pressure off of Matt Ryan. Linebacker Dante Fowlerwould be a tremendous addition if available at the eighth pick, as he showed during his time at Florida. He is a strong outside edge pass rusher that the Falcons desperately need. Regardless of who the Falcons select, TiqIQ will be the place to go for Falcons tickets.
Whether they’re on the road or at home, Hipmunk.com is any Falcons fan travel resource. If you want to stay near the stadium, Hipmunk has hotels near the Georgia Dome from $84 and up with a multitude of choices. Fans from further away can book flights to Atlanta through Hipmunk just as easily.