With the addition of promising rookies, free agents, and the astonishing Mercedes-Benz Stadium on the way in 2017, it is time for the Falcons to soar.
After missing the opportunity to make their second Super Bowl appearance by ten yards in 2012, the Atlanta Falcons have struggled to revisit that opportunity ever since. However, football analysts, avid loyalists, and the entire Falcons staff collectively believe the future will entail the franchise will “Rise Up” due to some significant player acquisitions, hopefully a stingier defense, and the motivation to enter their highly anticipated new home in 2017—the Mercedes-Benz Stadium—flaunting Super Bowl rings.
The Falcons have one of the most dominant receivers in NFL history in Julio Jones, and he needs to get the ball as much as possible. However, last year’s underwhelming play of field general Matt Ryan—accredited to numerous dropped passes and ultimately the void of another potent receiving threat to limit defenses from double-teaming Jones—hindered the team last year. However, this season’s additions of former Cincinnati Bengal Mohamed Sanu and rookie Tight End Austin Hooper out of Stanford aim to provide some relief for Jones. Underrated Right Tackle Ryan Schraeder, Left Tackle Jake Matthews, and the offensive line will get some welcomed help from the solid Center Alex Mack acquired from the Cleveland Browns as well; this protection will give Ryan extra time to find his targets and provide big holes for the shifty rising star, Running Back Devonta Freeman. The talented, yet slightly disappointing backup Running Back Tevin Coleman promises to have a better season holding on to the ball in 2016 also.
The defense, led by ball All-Pro Cornerback Desmond Trufant, will receive much-needed reinforcements thanks to numerous enhancements during the offseason. Besides developing the existing front line who raised some eyebrows last year, rookies De’Vondre Campbell out of Minnesota and LSU’s Deion Jones should upgrade the linebacker corps. Addressing help for Trufant, Defensive Back Robert Alford should build off an impressive 2015 season, and Cornerback Jalen Collins will provide an extra boost once serving a four-game suspension for violating the League’s PED policy.
But perhaps the most radiant element in not only the Falcons’ bright future, but the entire Georgia capital, is the highly anticipated completion of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium adjacent to the existing Georgia Dome. Costing $1.5 billion to construct, this two-million-square-foot arena is slated to be the most extravagant structure the South has ever seen when it opens its doors in 2017. Falcons Owner Arthur Blank, Mercedes-Benz, and the entire city of Atlanta are counting down the days of this majestic venue becoming the official home debuting their Major League Soccer team, the Atlanta United; featuring star-studded concerts; hosting major sport events including the Final Four, college bowls, and the Super Bowl; and of course, the nest of the Falcons.
The seemingly endless list of jaw-dropping Mercedes-Benz Stadium amenities includes a retractable, eight-panel “camera lens-like” roof that opens in approximately eight seconds; up to a 75,000 seating capacity; 24 bars and restaurants; and an eye-popping 63,800 square-foot, 360-degree HD video “halo board” surrounding the interior which will be the largest in the world to cover every pass, kick, catch, shot and performer with crystal clarity for every attendee to enjoy.
Ultimately, the Atlanta Falcons and second-year Head Coach Dan Quinn will have to fulfill the obligation of justifying their stunning new, 30-story home. With the aforementioned personnel improvements, heightened morale, and their loyal fan base keeping the faith, banners boasting “Home of NFL Champions” adorning the Mercedes-Benz Stadium walls could become a realistic housewarming.
For more information on the Atlanta Falcons, please visit AtlantaFalcons.com.
To get a full perspective on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, visit MercedesBenzStadium.com.