Atlanta Falcons 2017 season preview

Atlanta+Falcons+vs.+Washington+Redskins+in+2017

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta Falcons vs. Washington Redskins in 2017

K.J. Lemoine, Contributing Writer

The new school year has fully kicked into gear. While it may be depressing that it means the end of a relaxing summer of beach days and sleeping in, there is one thing that brings excitement: NFL football is here.

The Atlanta Falcons had an amazing run in 2016 going 11-5 and making Super Bowl LI. That run excited the state of Georgia, especially many Mercer students.

“I thought it was pretty miraculous honestly,” said sophomore Henri White, “because they have not been doing great up to that point.”

Of course, after such an incredible run, it is only logical to expect the Falcons to have similar success in 2017 as they move from the soon-to-be-demolished Georgia Dome to the new, state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

One of the Falcons’ strengths is their offense, led by NFL MVP quarterback Matt Ryan as well as wide receiver Julio Jones and running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. The Falcons roster also has many young defensive players such as linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal.

“All of the big name players are still with the team, and a lot of the defensive players too,” said sophomore Dylan Kennedy.

While fans expect the Falcons to remain competitive in 2017, one big question that remains for fans is their abilty to keep up after last season’s heartbreaking Super Bowl loss. The Falcons lead the Super Bowl 28-3 before falling to the New England Patriots in overtime.

“I’m a little concerned about the Super Bowl slump everybody talks about coming out of losing the Super Bowl,” Kennedy said.

Four key opponents highlight the Falcons’ 2017 schedule. A Super Bowl rematch with the Patriots (October 22) and clashes with NFC powerhouse Dallas (November 12) as well as last year’s playoff opponents Seattle (November 20) highlight the team’s season.

Regardless of expectation, another exciting season of Falcons football is underway. The Falcons kicked off their season September 10 defeating the Bears in Chicago. They face the Green Bay Packers September 17 at 8:30 pm.