In 2013, the Atlanta Falcons notched their second No. 1 seed in the span of three years and pushed to the brink of the NFC championship, yet still aren’t being treated like a top Super Bowl contender when it comes to offseason odds.
(The first number is from Aug. 23; the second in parenthesis from roughly three months ago.)
Super Bowl Odds: 12-to-1 (18-to-1)
Division Title Odds: +140 (+110)
Season Win Total Line: 10 (10)
There’s been some movement in the “respect” direction when it comes to Hotlanta’s Super Bowl odds late this offseason yet their odds if winning the NFC South have gotten lower. Part of this I imagine is percolation in the public’s mind that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have overhauled their defense and Sean Payton is returning to the New Orleans Saints. Both teams have seen their division title odds raise significantly since May.
Atlanta currently sits behind other NFC contenders in Super Bowl odds despite Matt Ryan making a huge leap in the postseason last year, playing as well as any quarterback during the playoffs save for maybe Joe Flacco or Russell Wilson. The San Francisco 49ers are sitting at 6-to-1, Seattle Seahawks at 9-to-1 and Green Bay Packers at 11-to-1.
This offense recorded middle-of-the-pack numbers when it came to major red-zone efficiency metrics last season, and this was entirely in spite of the run game. Swapping a decrepit Michael Turner for Steven Jackson should help in this regard, but only marginally if this offensive line can’t get better push in short-yardage situations. Converting more here could very well prove the difference in putting away teams in an offensively prolific NFC South.