After an explosive start to the season under first-year head coach Dan Quinn, 2015 seemed like it would be a year for the books for the Atlanta Falcons. They began with a commanding opening, turning in a dominant 6-1 record to start the year.
Then Week 8 hit.
The Falcons dropped a close one to Tampa Bay. The story was the same in Week 9, falling to the 49ers by just one point. Not even the bye week could help get the team back on track, and suddenly the group that began 5-0 was 6-7. Such a promising start ultimately meant little as the Falcons finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
So, what does last year's failure mean for 2016? The Falcons will certainly be entering the upcoming season with something to prove and they'll have a fire under them.
One of the team's biggest strengths last season was its passing game. Wide receiver Julio Jones is coming off a career season in which he caught 136 passes for 1,871 yards, the most of any receiver in the NFL. Atlanta finished with the seventh-ranked offense, averaging 374.1 yards per game. In addition to Jones' career-best season, running back Devonta Freeman exploded during his sophomore campaign and rushed for 1,056 yards on 265 carries.
While Atlanta will look to redeem itself from the 2015 collapse, the Eagles will have the opportunity for payback after last year's season opener. The Birds dropped a heartbreaker on Monday Night Football after their second-half comeback fell short. The two teams will meet again midway through the 2016 season in Week 10 at 1 PM, but this time, Atlanta will travel to Lincoln Financial Field.
|Key Additions||Key Losses|
|T Tom Compton||LB Kroy Biermann|
|LB Deion Jones||C Gino Gradkowski|
|C Alex Mack||K Shayne Graham|
|SS Keanu Neal||TE Tony Moeaki|
|LB LaRoy Reynolds||DT Paul Soliai|
|WR Mohamed Sanu||T Bradley Sowell|
|QB Matt Schaub||WR Roddy White|
|DE Derrick Shelby|
|LB Courtney Upshaw|
|LB Sean Weatherspoon|