They have a lot of talent and a determination to make the playoffs. They open up NFL preseason odds with a very winnable game as they host Kansas City.
NFL preseason bet lines will also favor Atlanta in Week 2 as they host New England. The Falcons could be underdogs in their last two preseason games at Miami and Jacksonville. The Falcons are darkhorses to win the Super Bowl with odds of 17-1. They are the second choice behind New Orleans to win the NFC South. The Falcons are +185 to win the division.
Atlanta was led last season by quarterback Matt Ryan. Hew threw for 2,916 yards and 22 TDs last season but he did have injury problems. The Falcons have a lot of weapons surrounding Ryan including wide receiver Roddy White. They also get Harry Douglas back from injury as he missed all of the 2009 season. Michael Turner was also hurt last season and he should rebound with a solid 2010 season.
The offense was not the problem for Atlanta last season. Giving up too many points and too many big plays was the reason the Falcons missed out on the playoffs. Picking up cornerback Dunta Robinson should be a major help. The Falcons need Peria Jerry to get healthy as he would give them a pass rushing threat.
The key with Atlanta is their health. Ryan missed two games and most of a third one last year while Turner missed five games. A number of other players missed a lot of time as well. For the Falcons to make a run at the Saints they have to stay on the field. The Falcons also need to get a kicker. Jason Elam was terrible and Matt Bryant was not that much better.
The early part of the season for Atlanta is going to be critical. They have the Steelers, Cardinals, Saints, 49ers, Eagles and Bengals. The Steelers and Cardinals don’t look as good but that is still a tough six-game stretch. Atlanta is one of the teams that could take a major step forward in 2010 so they could be worth a wager in NFL preseason odds.