With the Patriots heading down to Georgia for some joint-practice action and a pre-season game with the Falcons, I thought it would be a good opportunity to do another Q&A session with The Falcoholic
. In order to help us get to know our opponents a little better, I asked the site’s lead writer, Dave Choate, a series of questions about the Falcons, and he, in turn, asked me a few about the Pats. His responses are below.
1. Matt Ryan had a fantastic rookie season, and while he didn’t necessarily “slump” during his sophomore season, he didn’t progress as much as many had hoped. What are you expecting to see out of Ryan in 2010?
I expect Ryan to rebound and put together a very nice season. I don’t want to be the guy that starts yelling about him being elite before he reaches that level, so I’ll just say I expect better numbers across the board.
2. The Falcons’ defense was fairly weak last season, especially against the pass. Do you think the team’s off-season additions will correct the team’s defensive woes?
In a huge way. For the last two seasons, we’ve drafted defense, and this season we went out and signed Dunta Robinson to stabilize our cornerbacking corps. I can’t overstate how much of a difference that can make.
Generally speaking, we have a young, aggressive defense with a lot to prove. I think we’ll surprise people this season.
3. What are you the most excited about heading into the 2010 season?
The entire team. I can’t think of another Falcons team in recent memory that was so balanced from top to bottom. There’s a lot to like in our depth chart.
4. What do you think the Falcons’ weak point is?
Might be our pass blocking. The offensive line looked shaky the first game of the pre-season, which is hardly a cause for concern by itself, but we had some issues last year too. If guys can’t stay healthy and can’t improve, Matt Ryan could be taking a few sacks this season.
5. What is your prediction for the Patriots this season?
Tough division with the emerging Dolphins and the Jets, but I’d go with 10-6. I think they’ve done a good job drafting the last two years after a drop in quality for several years before that.
7. What is your prediction for the Falcons this year?
I’m also going to say 10-6. Good enough for a Wild Card in the NFC, I think, and we’ll see what kind of noise we can make in the playoffs from there.