By Andrew Schuster @ShootsMcGavin on June 11, 2014
The Atlanta Falcons are looking for a complete turn-around in 2014 in hopes of reclaiming the NFC South title. The talent is there, but a full team effort will be required in order to find success in a tough division. With the upcoming season just around the corner, let's go ahead and make five early predictions for Mike Smith's squad.
Desmond Trufant had a nice little rookie campaign last year. After the departure of Asante Samuel, Trufant is now listed at the Falcons' No.1 cornerback. The former first-round pick out of Washington has the potential to be a dominant pass defender in the NFL. I see him taking the next step and leading the team in interceptions in 2014. A Pro Bowl appearance in the near future is very possible for the young talent.
Jackson is looking to bounce back from one of the worst performances of his career. Injuries were an issue, but he managed to still play in 12 games. He averaged a career-low 3.5 yards per carry on 157 carries for 543 yards. He may have a better year in 2014, but as a 31-year-old (in July) running back, Jackson's best days are behind him.
Drafting Jake Matthews in the 2014 NFL Draft to help protect Matt Ryan was a no-brainer. Atlanta's quarterback was constantly under pressure, forcing him to make bad decisions with the ball. I think Matthews rises to the occasion and makes an immediate impact. He is one of the most talented tackles to enter the NFL in years. He's got everything you look for in an offensive lineman.
It's safe to say that Julio Jones is one of the NFL's most talented receivers. Unfortunately, he was unable to play for a majority of the 2013 season after fracturing his foot, but he will indeed bounce back this year. The absence of Tony Gonzales will result in more targets for Jones, so finishing at the top of the league in yards and touchdowns is a likely scenario.
After an awful performance by the offensive line and the absence of Julio Jones, Matt Ryan was still able to pass for over 4,500 yards last year. Ryan becoming a 5,000 yard quarterback is very realistic. With healthy receivers and an improved line, I believe he will take that next step in 2014.
May 5, 2015 by Brian Kalchik
These five Houston Texans veterans should be feeling the heat following the 2015 NFL Draft. Read More
May 5, 2015 by Derek McVay
With a relatively easy schedule in 2015, the New England Patriots are looking at another season with double-digit wins and an AFC East crown. Read More
May 5, 2015 by Nick Sardina
There were plenty of steals during the 2015 NFL Draft. These 15 players were undervalued and should surprise early during their careers. Read More
May 5, 2015 by Brad Berreman
Trade speculation surrounding Houston Texans S D.J. Swearinger surfaced last week. Here's why a trade might be good for both sides. Read More
May 5, 2015 by Clyde A. Speller
Even after doing a great job in the 2015 NFL Draft, there were some players that the Chicago Bears missed out on. Read More
May 5, 2015 by Evan Massey
The Cleveland Browns should give second-year quarterback Johnny Manziel a chance and start him to begin the regular season over Josh McCown. Read More
May 5, 2015 by Jerry Landry
Because of course the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should trust Jameis Winston's judgment. Read More
Cincinnati Bengals rookie wide receiver Joe Craig is ready to prove that he can be a legitimate NFL wide receiver despite not having a stellar college career. Read More