Friday, August 28, 2009

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Atlanta Falcons

It's hard to believe that the Falcons have gotten so far from where they were at the end of the 2007 season. The team had to go through the Michael Vick case, which can be tough on anybody. The Falcons also lost Bobby Petrino, when he bolted for Arkansas before the end of the season. It seemed like the team was in disarray going into the next season.

However, things got better for the Falcons. Led by rookie quarterback Matt Ryan and rookie head coach Mike Smith, the Falcons clinched a wild card spot in the playoffs. It was the Falcons first trip to the playoffs since the 2004 season.

Ryan passed for more than 3,000 yards and 16 touchdowns, as he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Of course, give some credit to the success of Michael Turner. After playing under the shadow of LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego, Turner went out and had a breakout year in 2008. The Northern Illinois product rushed for almost 1,700 yards (1,699 to be exact) and ran the ball in to the endzone 17 times. If it wasn't for Turner, maybe the Falcons are 7-9 or even 6-10.

But don't give all of the credit to Turner. This team looks a lot better than ever before and are among the favorites in an always crazy-competitive NFC South (yes I made that word up off the top of my head).

With the addition of tight end Tony Gonzalez to the mix, Ryan has another weapon to throw to. It helps he has Roddy White back too. Could the man many call "Matty Ice" go out and have another terrific season? It is most certainly possible. I am eager to see what the Falcons do in 2009.

Most Offensive Player: Michael Turner
Most Defensive Player: Mike Peterson
Best New Guy: Peria Jerry
Coolest Twitter Page: Chandler Williams
Team Song: "Hard to Handle"- The Black Crowes
Coolest Names (Top 3): Ovie Mughelli, Brent Grimes, Kroy Biermann
Most Likely to Succeed: Michael Turner
In 2009, the Falcons will go: 11-5

We'll continue to profile the NFC South and should have it wrapped up by early next week.

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