The Atlanta Falcons are here to compete now. After the disastrous 2020-21 season, Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank cleared-house by hiring the dynamic duo of GM Terry Fontenot and HC Arthur Smith. With an aging Julio Jones likely to return and the seasoned-veteran Matt Ryan still playing at an elite level, the clock is ticking the Falcons’ last chance to make a serious run at a title before the organization goes into a rebuild.
They need to win by outscoring their opponent. The Falcons have the best offense in the NFL after drafting young phenom Kyle Pitts. This team has the best receiving corps in the NFL, and Mike Davis leading the backfield will be a big improvement from the Todd Gurley stint last year. Their defense has improved through the draft, however, secondary remains the Achilles’ heel of this football club, with pass-rush being a close second.
Vegas is not ruling in favor of the dirty birds. Already counting the football club out after last season, Vegas odds-makers fail to capture the change of coaching regime and offensive firepower in Atlanta.
Falcons win Super Bowl 56: +8000 or 80/1
The Super Bowl may be a stretch for the Falcons, however, Atlanta has quite a few resources that allow them to seriously compete. For starters, this team has a powerhouse offense. Even before drafting Kyle Pitts, the Falcons have never had a problem putting up more than 30 points against most opponents. Adding Pitts’ to the mix along with a new offensive scheme will revitalize this offense that is loaded with top talent.
OL Jalen Mayfield will give Matt Ryan even more time in the pocket to throw to one of his many talented targets. This is the best offense in the league right now, and if you think about it, the Chiefs won a Super Bowl with a defense ranked 17th by Pro-Football Focus. The Super Bowl is not out of the realm of possibility for Atlanta this year, but making the playoffs is a much more realistic outcome for this club.
Falcons make the playoffs: Make Playoffs +300; Miss Playoffs -400
Vegas oddsmakers have either not kept up with the changes to the Falcons’ organization, and/or they simply did not watch their games from last season. Atlanta has a strong shot at making the playoffs as a wild card team, while Tampa Bay wins the division. Matt Ryan & Company will take one game from Tampa Bay, and two games from Carolina within the division. New Orleans is too big of a question mark to call at this point.
The Falcons have the strength of schedule on their side. They play all the NFC East teams, Jacksonville, Detroit, and the New York Jets (in London.) They won’t get less than 10 wins with how their schedule is set up this year and will make the wild card round at the very least.
Falcons win the NFC South: +1000
Oddsmakers are probably right on this one. Tampa Bay is a force, and Tom Brady shows no signs of aging. Their defense improved this offseason with the addition of outside linebacker, Joe Tryon. The Buccaneers retained most of their players, including the always-controversial WR3, Antonio Brown.
Given the fact that the Bucs have only gotten better during the offseason, it makes sense that wagering $100 against the former world champs would earn you a return of $1000 if they lost the division. The Bucs win this division soundly this year, while Atlanta places 2nd.