The Atlanta Falcons finished last season with a 4-12 record, but they are primed to bounce back and return to the playoffs with the talent they possess.
The Atlanta Falcons entered the 2013 season as a frontrunner to win the Super Bowl after a heartbreaking NFC Championship loss to the 49ers.
However, everything that could have gone wrong for them went wrong as they finished 4-12. Injuries piled up, and Matt Ryan felt the pain of losing his top two receivers and having little to no time to throw.
The Falcons are too talented to let this happen again. Here are five reasons why they will return to the playoffs.
5. Mike Smith knows his seat is heating up
While he is not in any immediate danger of being fired, the head coach knows that he will be a prime candidate for the hot seat if the Falcons do not bounce back from last year’s disappointment. Smith has not shined in the playoffs, but he has consistently led the Falcons to winning records, so there will be no excuses for him to go through another losing season.
4. Panthers regressing
Although the Falcons had too much adversity to overcome, they still would have found it difficult to contend with the Panthers emerging as a surprise playoff team. Cam Newton had a fantastic season filled with comeback victories, but he will experience a turnover in his receiving corps, and it remains to be seen whether the Panthers overachieved in 2013. While the Saints are still frontrunners to win the Super Bowl, the Falcons’ NFC South competition will be less difficult.