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Clearly on the hot seat after putting forth a 7-9 record that resulted in a second place finish in the underachieving NFC South, Dan Quinn knows full well this will be his last go round as the franchise’s shot caller if things don’t improve in a hurry; like Week 1! The Falcons were simply ravaged by the injury bug last season; especially on the defensive side of the ball where studs were lost to season ending injuries at every level. Offensively, the Falcons racked up some impressive yardage totals, but failed to end most of those drives with points. With that, only nine of the teams’ 16 regular season matchups combined for high scorers, and the team simply killed NFL bettor’s bankrolls at online sportsbooks where they managed to cover the closing NFL odds only five times.
Without a run game to bank on due to Devonta Freeman barely seeing the gridiron, you’d expect Atlanta’s offense to have fallen off a cliff. That however didn’t end up being the case as the unit went on to rank No. 6 overall, No. 4 in passing and No. 10 in scoring. One of the main reasons why was because of Matt Ryan who put forth yet another fantastic season for his fantasy supporters that came up just short of his MVP campaign back in 2016. Hopefully he took Julio Jones out for dinner to celebrate after No. 11 went on to reel in 113 receptions and turned them into 1,677 yards and 8 TD. Flanked by studs Mohammed Sanu, Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper, Atlanta’s passing attack is likely to flourish once again. If Freeman can’t avoid the injury bug again, the running back corps looks to be in good shape with Ito Smith and rookie Qadree Ollison running behind a revamped and expected to be improved offensive line.
Most of Atlanta’s issues a season ago stemmed from the defense not being up to snuff. That had everything to do with the unit getting destroyed by injuries. The unit just wasn’t the same once Deion Jones, Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal were lost for the season early on. The good news is that trio is all expected back healthy and ready to go for the 2019-20 NFL betting season. With the potent offensive attacks set to be thrown their way six times in divisional play along with games against the Vikings, Eagles, Colts, Rams, 49ers and Jaguars, the defense is going to have to step up and become a force for the team to have any shot of competing with the heavily favored New Orleans Saints ( -187 ) to win the division.
The Falcons ( +357 ) just so happen to be the second choice of linemakers to win the NFC South. They’re also owners of a hefty 9-game season win total at top rated sportsbooks, so improvement is expected in Hotlanta this season. That will all depend on the offense turning all that yardage gained into more points as well as the defense staying healthy and kicking some butt under new coordinator Dan Quinn. If Dirk Koetter is able to light a spark under the offense unlike Steve Sarkisian did the last couple seasons, the Falcons could give the reigning champion Saints major headaches in their quest of repeating as division champs.