The Atlanta Falcons battled injury bugs and holding down the fort on the defensive line in 2019. They matched last year’s 7-9 performance with a win in Week 17, but that’s far from where they want to be after winning at least 10 games in 2016 and 2017. The major pieces are still in play, but they aren’t getting the results they want.
There was a very small chance Matt Ryan would live up to the hype after throwing for nearly 5,000 yards with a quarterback rating of 108.1 last season. He definitely won’t reach those numbers again this year, but he’s done everything he can under center. Julio Jones is closing out his fifth straight year with over 1,000 receiving yards and the Falcons are just outside being a top-10 scoring offense. But its middling run and pass defense have room for improvement.
The Falcons rank 28th in sacks (27) this year so they need to get better on the defensive front. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett made his first Pro Bowl this season after signing a huge four-year, $68 million deal including $42.5 million in guarantees last offseason. But he needs help. Adding a versatile lineman that can stop the run and get after the quarterback will get the ball rolling for Atlanta. But the Falcons will also need to consider adding depth to their often injury-riddled secondary.
The 2019 NFL season is coming to a close and while the playoffs are just arriving, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2020. We won’t know the full regular season schedule until April, but even with the 2019 season not finished, we know each team’s list of opponents. The NFL has a formula they use to determine opponents, with divisions and conferences rotating each year.
The Falcons face their divisional opponents a total of six times. The NFC South faces the NFC North, which adds four more opponents. The NFC South faces the AFC West, which adds four more opponents. The final two opponents are the teams that finish in the same standing position in the NFC West and NFC East.