What Time Is The Atlanta Falcons Football Game Today Atlanta Falcons to Repeat As NFC South Cellar Dwellers

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Atlanta Falcons to Repeat As NFC South Cellar Dwellers

Three of the four teams in the NFC South have a legitimate shot at winning the division. The Atlanta Falcons are the only team not in the running, but this is being considered a rebuilding year for them. They have already named former Boston College standout Matt Ryan as their starting quarterback.

The first-string rookie quarterback is a microcosm of his team. Like his team, he is not ready to be the first in the league. Like his team, he will take regular weekly beatings. Like his team, he will make costly mistakes. And like his team, he works in the hope that his ordeal will make him better in the long run.

History suggests the opposite scenario.

Because it takes several years to fully learn the NFL playbook, rookie KBs typically learn on the fly, working behind subpar offensive lines while trying to read aggressive defenses run by aggressive coordinators. The physical and mental beatings – magnified by ever-increasing media content – ​​will break a young passer rather than make him stronger. Ask David Carr. Or Alex Smith.

I said all of that to say this: Atlanta is probably making a mistake by starting Ryan. But it wouldn’t be the first time the Falcons made the wrong quarterback decision (Michael Vick, anyone?).

In the wide NFC South, only one thing is certain: the Falcons will finish last.

New Orleans Saints

There are many questions surrounding this team, not the least of which is this: Will Reggie Bush become the quarterback everyone believed he would be? Justifying his salary or not, this team is loaded offensively. Drew Brees, Dews McAllister, Marquis Colston and a rejuvenated Jeremy Shockey put a lot of points on the scoreboard. But can I stop someone?

Circle this date: October 26, vs. San Diego (in London). Drew Brees doesn’t have much to say about the team that dumped him in favor of Philip Rivers, but you can bet he’s looking forward to this game.

Outlook: I don’t think this team is a fluke. Sean Payton has assembled a team that prides itself on toughness and consistency. I expect to see them at or near the top of the division for the next few years.

Projected finish: 11-5, good enough for the top of the division. And maybe even a win in the first round of the playoffs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There’s something about Jeff Garcia that teams don’t like. The 49ers dropped him in his prime. He fled the city in Cleveland and Detroit. And after a Pro Bowl season that seemed to herald the rebirth of his career, the Buccaneers tried to land the recently unretired Brett Favre. If he hadn’t been married to the Playboy playmaker in 2004, Jeff might have felt a little insecure.

Circle this date: Nov. 30, vs. New Orleans. Garcia and Drew Brees are shooting in a game that could have serious playoff implications.

Outlook: Defensive toughness will make up for the Bucs’ lack of consistent play. Garcia is coming off another solid season, but at age 38, how many solid seasons does he have left?

Predicted finish: 10-6.

Carolina Panthers

Let’s see…a quarterback coming off Tommy John surgery, a star receiver serving a two-game suspension, a lack of proven running back…it doesn’t look good. But John Fox knows how to do more with less, and the Panthers always seem to be in the thick of things near the end of the season.

Circle this date: September 21, at the Minnesota Vikings. This should be Steve Smith’s first game back from his suspension (imposed by the team after Smith broke a teammate’s nose in a fight). Expect him to have a breakout game.

Outlook: The Panthers have talent, but something always seems to stand in their way. This year there are several things. Jake Delhomme’s elbow, Smith’s shortened season, a rebuilt offensive line and a decimated defensive line.

Predicted finish: 8-8.

Atlanta Falcons

When your best player gets kicked out of the league and taken to Leavenworth, you’re in trouble. These guys have problems. They have a rookie quarterback in Ryan, a running back (Michael Turner) who is unproven as a starter, and they’ve had some key losses on both sides of the ball.

Circle this date: October 5, at the Green Bay Packers. This is my anxiety special. If the Falcons can pull this off, they could even extend it to a two-game winning streak with an October 12 win over the Chicago Bears. Hey, anything is possible. Kevin Garnett said so.

Outlook: bleak. This is probably the worst team in the National Football League.

Predicted finish: 3-13.

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