Photo credit: Patrick Smith / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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The Atlanta Falcons finished the 2018 season on a high note by beating the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to finish their season. It was a promising sign for a team that battled injuries for most of the year.
Devonta Freeman, Deion Jones, and Keanu Neal all missed significant time and those are some of Atlanta’s best players. Their return could be enough to get the Falcons back in the playoffs. Offensively this team is dangerous with Matt Ryan leading the way. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Ryan aired it out for 414 points against some tough opponents in the NFC South. Thomas Dimitroff didn’t settle though he added a couple of offensive linemen in Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary to bolster the protection up front. They still have Alex Mack as well so those guys should be able to win at the point of attack. There’s also hope that this team will improve from a running standpoint as well. Freeman’s return almost guarantees that and then you have to take a look at what’s happening on defense. Deion Jones is usually good for 100 tackles when he’s healthy. Having him back at the middle linebacker position makes this team much tougher against those inside runs and Jones is also athletic enough to play sideline-to-sideline. This is the perfect defender to have right behind Grady Jarrett and those two guys are going to anchor this group. If that wasn’t good enough the Falcons will also get back Keanu Neal who is stout against the run. Neal packs a punch in the secondary and wide receivers think twice about going over the middle when he’s on the field. All of these pieces are good individually but when you combine them it becomes obvious that this ball club is trending in the right direction. The division will probably come down to the Saints and Falcons when everything is said and done.
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The Atlanta Falcons finished the 2018 season on a three game winning streak and that’s a good sign of what’s to come.