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BlueSky

2009 NFL Season Thread

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I don't think the Falcons will have much of a problem making the postseason. If Vick goes to the Patriots or Steelers (these names have been bandied about by just about every NFL reporter on ESPN), I'll punch myself in the face.

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I don't think the Falcons will have much of a problem making the postseason. If Vick goes to the Patriots or Steelers (these names have been bandied about by just about every NFL reporter on ESPN), I'll punch myself in the face.

Not much of a problem making the playoffs? Those kind of statements simply astound me. Have any of you Falcons optimists taken a close look at the schedule? It is brutal for the Falcons this season. Look at the first 3 games as one small example (Miami, Carolina, at New England). They may start 0-3 or 1-2. Or how about Weeks 6-11, no problem there, huh? Just the Bears, at Dallas, at New Orleans, Redskins, at Panthers, at Giants.

And oh by the way, you lost 5 defensive starters this off-season.

Good luck.

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I think if Matt Ryan continues his great play, we could have one of the top offenses in the league. Ryan, Turner, Norwood, White, Jenkins, Gonzalez. Pretty good. I think our defense will be underrated. They'll be fine.

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Until you consider their bye week is Week FOUR. That's just brutal no matter what team you are.

But hecks...they still might run the gambit on the Buccaneers this year, so what the hey, right?

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Vick is supposedly close to finding a team in ''professional football'' but he didn't elaborate on which team and league that was.

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I don't think the Falcons will have much of a problem making the postseason. If Vick goes to the Patriots or Steelers (these names have been bandied about by just about every NFL reporter on ESPN), I'll punch myself in the face.

Not much of a problem making the playoffs? Those kind of statements simply astound me. Have any of you Falcons optimists taken a close look at the schedule? It is brutal for the Falcons this season. Look at the first 3 games as one small example (Miami, Carolina, at New England). They may start 0-3 or 1-2. Or how about Weeks 6-11, no problem there, huh? Just the Bears, at Dallas, at New Orleans, Redskins, at Panthers, at Giants.

And oh by the way, you lost 5 defensive starters this off-season.

Good luck.

Out of all those teams you mentioned, only the Patriots will be a guaranteed favorite over the Falcons. Even if they split those games against the opponents you mentioned, they still have a legitimate shot at 10 or 11 wins?which, in the NFC, should be sufficient for a Wild Card berth.

I'm not a Falcons optimist?just a football realist.

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Vick is supposedly close to finding a team in ''professional football'' but he didn't elaborate on which team and league that was.

He will sign with Seattle.

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Vick is supposedly close to finding a team in ''professional football'' but he didn't elaborate on which team and league that was.

He will sign with Seattle.

I'm going to guess Denver winds up with Vick. It seems like the Broncos need a shot in the arm after their trashy offseason which included the loss of Jay Cutler. Plus, getting a criminal like Vick can't really hurt McDaniel's fan approval rating since it's already through the floor.

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Vick is supposedly close to finding a team in ''professional football'' but he didn't elaborate on which team and league that was.

He will sign with Seattle.

You know, that's not a bad idea really.

Hasselbeck is getting up there in age and Wallace has proven to be a successful backup that can come in if Hasselbeck is hurt.

Vick can come in, watch under Hasselbeck and when the time comes, he can take over. Oh, and it doesn't hurt to have your former coach when he played at Atlanta be the new coach of the Seahawks.

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I don't think the Falcons will have much of a problem making the postseason. If Vick goes to the Patriots or Steelers (these names have been bandied about by just about every NFL reporter on ESPN), I'll punch myself in the face.

Not much of a problem making the playoffs? Those kind of statements simply astound me. Have any of you Falcons optimists taken a close look at the schedule? It is brutal for the Falcons this season. Look at the first 3 games as one small example (Miami, Carolina, at New England). They may start 0-3 or 1-2. Or how about Weeks 6-11, no problem there, huh? Just the Bears, at Dallas, at New Orleans, Redskins, at Panthers, at Giants.

And oh by the way, you lost 5 defensive starters this off-season.

Good luck.

Out of all those teams you mentioned, only the Patriots will be a guaranteed favorite over the Falcons. Even if they split those games against the opponents you mentioned, they still have a legitimate shot at 10 or 11 wins—which, in the NFC, should be sufficient for a Wild Card berth.

I'm not a Falcons optimist—just a football realist.

Pretty much, yeah. I think it's more of skyblue severely underrating the Falcons than actually rating them objectively. Let's be real. The teams that you mentioned don't exactly have the type of defense that can shut down the offensive attack that the Falcons will be bringing this year. Miami's defense is good, Carolina's got exposed, and New England's is getting older and older every year. Then the Bears' defense is getting to be overrated, Dallas has a good defense, New Orleans' is comparable to a sieve. The only two defenses on that schedule that I think have a great chance of locking the Falcons O down would be the Redskins and the Giants, so yeah. Plus, the defense got better by subtraction this year, most of that defense was dead weight to begin with. So offense improved, defense improved, the special teams is still great (set an all-time NFL record for least punt return yards against last year). Last I checked, three positives don't equal a negative, there, partner. :P

They ain't gonna win the Super Bowl...but they damn sure aren't gonna be at the bottom of the division.

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I don't think the Falcons will have much of a problem making the postseason. If Vick goes to the Patriots or Steelers (these names have been bandied about by just about every NFL reporter on ESPN), I'll punch myself in the face.

Not much of a problem making the playoffs? Those kind of statements simply astound me. Have any of you Falcons optimists taken a close look at the schedule? It is brutal for the Falcons this season. Look at the first 3 games as one small example (Miami, Carolina, at New England). They may start 0-3 or 1-2. Or how about Weeks 6-11, no problem there, huh? Just the Bears, at Dallas, at New Orleans, Redskins, at Panthers, at Giants.

And oh by the way, you lost 5 defensive starters this off-season.

Good luck.

Aside from the San Francisco and Chicago games (two teams the Falcons should be able to beat), the rest of the division is playing the same 14 games as the Falcons. The schedules of Carolina, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay aren't that different or any less difficult.

Vick is supposedly close to finding a team in ''professional football'' but he didn't elaborate on which team and league that was.

He will sign with Seattle.

You know, that's not a bad idea really.

Hasselbeck is getting up there in age and Wallace has proven to be a successful backup that can come in if Hasselbeck is hurt.

Vick can come in, watch under Hasselbeck and when the time comes, he can take over. Oh, and it doesn't hurt to have your former coach when he played at Atlanta be the new coach of the Seahawks.

The coaching tandem of Mora and Knapp got a lot of criticism here....I suspect it won't be much of a difference in Seattle.

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I'm underrating the Falcons. Riiight. Last year's Falcons benefited - a LOT - from very low expectations and being taken lightly by the teams they faced. For example, the Saints came into Atlanta off a nice win over San Diego and got their heads handed to them. News for you, boys: San Diego is better than Atlanta. So the next time, the Saints had their eyes open and beat the Falcons despite a couple of defensive plays so horrible that I could have defended those passes. I don't think the Saints D is going to be a sieve this year. Gregg Williams has coached top 10 defenses 5 of the last 10 seasons. His style of aggressive, attacking defense is completely different than what they've played before. I will say, however, that after going through a lot of material on their D's new attitude, I may puke if I hear or read the word 'swagger' one more time. B) Aside from its pure asininity (is that a word?), you EARN swagger, not adopt it, and the Saints' defense hasn't earned jack lately.

And while the NFC South teams do share common opponents, that doesn't make the schedules identical and you guys should know that. For one thing, the teams are not in the same order, there are home and away differences (the Saints get New England at home) and then there's weather on top of that, the Saints latest winter site game is at the Giants October 18. The Falcons play at the Jets December 20. So tell me again how similar the schedules are and how Atlanta's going to breeze into the playoffs? Even the local sports talk radio stations in Atlanta are already talking about how the Falcons may be a better team this year but still get fewer wins.

ESPN apparently thinks schedule differences matter enough to have a ranking, which btw supports my point. All 4 NFC South teams are in the top 8, but the Falcons are #4 and the Saints #8.

Strength of Schedule

It'll all play out on the field and that's what makes it fun. Just be aware I'm going to call you on your dreaming if Atlanta flames out, and I'm sure you'll return the favor if the Saints disappoint me.

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Do I smell a Saints/Falcons sig bet brewing here?

Now I'm excited for the Bears this season. I definately think they have the ability to win the division, but I'd put Minnesota and Green Bay about equal to them. Their defense won't be outstanding, but if they avoid major injuries it should be very good. Forte should be productive running the ball and catching out of the backfield, but I'm not sold on the offensive line yet. Chris Williams is probably going to start at right tackle after being injured last year and Orlando Pace looks to be the new starting left tackle. I think these should be two improvements, but one hasn't played yet and the other is at the very end of his career.

Then it comes to the wide receivers. They're still going to struggle this year, but I am hoping Hester will improve his game. If he's going to be the #1 the Bears want him to, he's going to have to run more routes than a straight fly. Hopefully they show up big Week 1 against the Packers in their first game in the 3-4 and shut Donald Driver up.

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I'm underrating the Falcons. Riiight. Last year's Falcons benefited - a LOT - from very low expectations and being taken lightly by the teams they faced. For example, the Saints came into Atlanta off a nice win over San Diego and got their heads handed to them. News for you, boys: San Diego is better than Atlanta. So the next time, the Saints had their eyes open and beat the Falcons despite a couple of defensive plays so horrible that I could have defended those passes. I don't think the Saints D is going to be a sieve this year. Gregg Williams has coached top 10 defenses 5 of the last 10 seasons. His style of aggressive, attacking defense is completely different than what they've played before. I will say, however, that after going through a lot of material on their D's new attitude, I may puke if I hear or read the word 'swagger' one more time. B) Aside from its pure asininity (is that a word?), you EARN swagger, not adopt it, and the Saints' defense hasn't earned jack lately.

And while the NFC South teams do share common opponents, that doesn't make the schedules identical and you guys should know that. For one thing, the teams are not in the same order, there are home and away differences (the Saints get New England at home) and then there's weather on top of that, the Saints latest winter site game is at the Giants October 18. The Falcons play at the Jets December 20. So tell me again how similar the schedules are and how Atlanta's going to breeze into the playoffs? Even the local sports talk radio stations in Atlanta are already talking about how the Falcons may be a better team this year but still get fewer wins.

ESPN apparently thinks schedule differences matter enough to have a ranking, which btw supports my point. All 4 NFC South teams are in the top 8, but the Falcons are #4 and the Saints #8.

Strength of Schedule

It'll all play out on the field and that's what makes it fun. Just be aware I'm going to call you on your dreaming if Atlanta flames out, and I'm sure you'll return the favor if the Saints disappoint me.

I hate to break it to you, but the Falcons beat San Diego IN San Diego last season. The Falcons held the Chargers to 201 yards while gaining 348, and that was with Tomlinson and Gates and Rivers all playing. Safe to say, the Falcons are better than San Diego. But you'll spin that in a way where the Falcons lucked into that win, I'm sure.

Pay close attention to the schedule strengths link you posted. Teams 1-8 are teams from the NFC South and AFC East. Teams 9-16 are teams from the AFC South and NFC East. Teams 17-20 are the four AFC West teams. The NFC West teams are 23-27. The point is, the argument about schedule strength amongst the division members is invalid because every team will be playing the same 14 teams in their 16 games. And, for what it's worth, the Panthers and Falcons have their byes in Week 4, the Saints in Week 5, and the Bucs in Week 8. The Saints have no real advantage, as far as the bye weeks are concerned.

Here are the uncommon opponents for the NFC South:

ATL: @SF, CHI

CAR: @ARZ, MIN

NO: @STL, DET

TB: @SEA, GB

The Falcons have two very-winnable games, as do the Saints. Carolina and Tampa, not so much.

True, the Falcons travel to New England, but they get to play them in Week 3, when the Patriots offense likely isn't hitting on all cylinders by then. New Orleans hosts the Patriots, but in Week 12, and on a Monday night no less. Methinks the Patriots will be amped up for MNF.

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Strength of Schedule

It'll all play out on the field and that's what makes it fun. Just be aware I'm going to call you on your dreaming if Atlanta flames out, and I'm sure you'll return the favor if the Saints disappoint me.

Calm down, man. I'm not even a Falcons fan—I have no emotional investment whether they win or lose. You going on and on about how the Falcons are terrible and overrated is like me saying the Steelers recent Super Bowl wins were flukes. I friggin' HATE the Steelers with every ounce of my being, but they're a better football team than my hapless Bengals—plain and simple. Just like the Falcons are a better football team than the Saints. Like it or not, it's fact—the Falcons won more games than the Saints did.

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Strength of Schedule

It'll all play out on the field and that's what makes it fun. Just be aware I'm going to call you on your dreaming if Atlanta flames out, and I'm sure you'll return the favor if the Saints disappoint me.

Calm down, man. I'm not even a Falcons fan?I have no emotional investment whether they win or lose. You going on and on about how the Falcons are terrible and overrated is like me saying the Steelers recent Super Bowl wins were flukes. I friggin' HATE the Steelers with every ounce of my being, but they're a better football team than my hapless Bengals?plain and simple. Just like the Falcons are a better football team than the Saints. Like it or not, it's fact?the Falcons won more games than the Saints did.

I didn't say they're terrible. I do think they're overrated, particularly on defense. They had a great year last year and may continue that trend this year. "May" being the key word all things considered. Last year was a perfect storm - basically NO significant injuries, easier schedule, under the radar and so on. As I've said many times, just like the '06 Saints. Then '07 came and the Saints had to do it under the spotlight of expectations. They had injuries, a tougher schedule, and so on, and they couldn't step up. Now it's the Falcons' turn to see if they can handle it. If they go 10-6 I'll be amazed. Any better than that is VERY unlikely. If Turner or a wideout or God forbid Matty Ice goes down or even picks up a minor but nagging injury, all bets are off.

Maybe I am a little jacked up on this issue because I live in metro Atlanta and so I get to hear everybody drinking the Kool-Aid. One guy gets on a sports talk station the other day and rants on about how the Falcons offense is going to be so great, blah blah. "Guys," he says, "they're better than the Saints' offense." That was that. Even the hosts, total homers of course, weren't buying that and basically laughed the guy off the air. That's the kind of pie-in-the-sky crap going on around here. I chuckle over it but here's the thing: I understand it. I've lived it myself as a Saints fan. You want so badly to believe that every dog has its day and that one day your team will have theirs. You watch the Patriots and Steelers and Cowboys going back to the show again and again and you figure someday it has to be your turn. At least the Pats and Steelers give you hope because they were awful for so long.

My dad and I were watching the end of another horrible Saints loss in another horrible Saints season way back when. He turned off the TV in disgust and said, "Hell, I'll be dead before those clowns win anything." He died in April 1991. Any Saints fan can tell you what happened later that year...in their 25th season, the Cajun Cannon led the Saints to their first division title. My dad was laughing at the irony like I was I'm sure, especially when they promptly got stomped again in the playoffs. B)

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Sig bet, I'm in. We going straight up results of the two Saints-Falcons games, best records overall, what?

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I'll take that bet. Best H2H record. If they split the two games, whoever won their game by more wins. Winner makes the loser's sig.

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Sig bet, I'm in. We going straight up results of the two Saints-Falcons games, best records overall, what?

Since the basis of discussion deals with the regular season, let's do overall record.

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I can't wait for the season to start, even as a Lions fan. :P

I think the offense could possibly surprise some people. Obviously, Calvin Johnson is a beast. That combination of size, speed, hands, agility, and jumping ability is ridiculous, and on top of that, he is humble and has a great work ethic. 12 Tds last year, with those QBs and no other threats at receiver is crazy. He should have been in the Pro Bowl last year easily. Kevin Smith also played much better in the second half of last year, which will hopefully carry over. Culpepper should be much better than last year if he starts, since he didn't come in mid-season, and has lost a bunch of weight. Brandon Pettigrew gives Culpepper or Stafford another big target and is a very good blocker. The receivers other than CJ are at least a little bit better than last year.

Now on defense, they can't be worse than in '08. The defensive line scares me, and the corners aren't the greatest either. The linebacker corps should be very good though, with the acquisitions of Julian Peterson and Larry Foote to go along with Ernie Sims. That is very solid, IMO. Safeties should be alright with Daniel Bullocks and rookie Louis Delmas, who I think will be a very good player. All in all, I don't expect much out of the defense, but I expect better than last year. I think I am going to go with 6 wins for my prediction.

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