I say nine wins. Roddy White responded , "Nine (bleepin') wins? Are you kidding me?" He did not give me his win prediction for the regular season but kept saying: "Tournament." As in the Falcons will make the playoffs.
I agree. I think they'll make the playoffs because, notwithstanding the obvious deficiencies on the offensive line and scrambling that's going on in the personnel department , I believe their defense will be improved enough under coach Dan Quinn to support an offense led by Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and White that they will win nine games.
National predictions for the Falcons are all over the board. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated picks the Falcons to finished second in the NFC South to the New Orleans Saints. Peter King of Sports Illustrated has the Falcons winning the division and Dan Quinn winning coach of the year honors. ESPN lists the Falcons 23rd out of 32 teams in its manufactured power rankings, including only 12th in the NFC and third in the South (behind New Orleans and Carolina).
CBS Sports says its "Sportsline Projection Model," which I would imagine to be a really nice set of darts, projects the Falcons to win 7.4 games, although it ranks them 31st in its power rankings (I'm confused). Most Las Vegas sportsbooks have put the Falcons' over/under at 8.5 wins, so I guess that makes me a tad optimistic (which I'm sure is a source of amusement in Flowery Branch).
So what say you? I could put up a poll asking if you believe the Falcons will win the NFC South, capture a wild card berth or miss the playoffs. But that's so dependent on how other teams do that it's easier just to ask for your predicted win total.
I'm giving you six choices. Choose wisely.