http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1654 ... 013/page/5
The Atlanta Falcons are still a very, very good football team, and they probably possess more talent than anyone on this list. But it wasn't a good offseason for Atlanta, and the rest of the NFC South appeared to gain ground.
At this point, I don't know if you can call replacing Michael Turner with Steven Jackson and John Abraham with Osi Umenyiora a net loss or net gain. But with Brent Grimes, Dunta Robinson and Tyson Clabo all gone, the Falcons will be relying on unproven youngsters like Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford and Lamar Holmes to fill those holes.
So while this is a playoff team that won its division by a ridiculous six games in 2012, expect that gap to close in 2013. The explosive New Orleans Saints have their coach back and have put the bounty scandal in the rear-view mirror, while the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both had solid offseasons.
Plus, the Falcons had the easiest schedule in the NFL last year. This year, based solely on what happened in 2012, they have a middle-of-the-pack schedule. They also had decent luck in the health department, according to Football Outsiders, despite being one of the oldest teams in football. In fact, ESPN.com's Mike Sando projects that the Falcons will have the second-oldest group of starters in the league, which is a little concerning.
Atlanta should return to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, but expect a bumpier road to January this time around.
2012 record: 13-3
Projected 2013 record: 10-6