As we plow into the offseason most plowfully www.falconsauthorizedshops.com , we tend to focus on the big changes. We want to know if Vic Beasley, Ryan Schraeder and Robert Alford will be back, if the team will invest a first round draft choice at defensive end or guard, and which starters might take a major leap forward. We tend to focus less on the depth, at least until the summer.As we learned this past year, that’s probably a mistake. Falcons fans (and really all NFL fans) tend to get crotchety when the team invests in a low-grade signing in March, grumbling that they’re not an impact player, but the Falcons were doomed as much by a lack of quality depth as they were by a lack of quality starters a year ago. When their safeties went down, they didn’t immediately have two starting-caliber players to roll out, and their depth at guard, linebacker, and defensive end proved lacking for much of the year, as well. So let’s take a moment and identify some areas where the Falcons are going to need augmented depth, even if their team is truly healthy.Wide ReceiverI like Russell Gage and Marvin Hall, so I don’t view this as an outsized need. I think the Falcons are still likely to try to bolster their depth at the position, however.That’s because Justin Hardy’s a free agent, Hall and Gage still haven’t carried any kind of significant load, and even if they re-sign Hardy an injury would catapult one of these guys into a major role they may not be equipped to handle. Given this team’s love for young receivers, I’d expect them to draft one late to give them more depth and, potentially, a capable option to grow into a starting role down the line. Tight EndAustin Hooper is fresh off a Pro Bowl year, but he’s not being backed up by inspiring choices at the moment. I like Eric Saubert as much as anybody and hope his third season will be his best yet, but he’s yet to show that he can be a reliable receiving option. Beyond him, there’s only converted rugby-er Alex Gray and UDFA Jaeden Graham at the moment, meaning the Falcons currently have no proven backup whatsoever. If the team thinks Saubert is ready to take the leap and Gray and Graham have benefitted from marinating on the practice squad, so be it. But this feels like a position that would become an active liability if Hooper got hurt Womens Jake Matthews Jersey , and so it’s one where I think you’ll see the Falcons either investing a draft choice or adding a veteran like Luke Stocker or Logan Paulsen to the mix.TackleGuard is probably the first answer that springs to mind here, but the reality is that the Falcons need to upgrade their starters more than their depth there, and losing both guards in one year is probably rare enough that the Falcons shouldn’t pour huge resources into solving that. Wes Schweitzer now has about two full seasons of games under his belt as a starter at both left guard and right guard and is one of the better depth options in the league as a result, and the Falcons have Matt Gono and Sean Harlow kicking around to serve as bottom of the roster depth. They’ll almost certainly invest resources at the position, but that’ll only make the depth that much stronger.Tackle, however, is a real black hole at the moment. Ty Sambrailo is an impending free agent and Gono is an unproven option the team may want to see at guard anyways, and Ryan Schraeder is coming off a poor season. The Falcons essentially have no depth there at the moment, and are going to need to bring some in no matter what they elect to have start there. Sambrailo remains the likeliest candidate to return. Defensive EndThe Falcons are woefully thin at end, even if there are logical options to fix that. Right now, it’s just Takk McKinley, Vic Beasley and Brooks Reed, and neither Beasley nor Reed are absolute locks to be on the roster in early September. Atlanta can re-sign Bruce Irvin and Steven Means, and if they’re drafting or signing a high-end starter and kicking Beasley to a part-time role, that may well be enough to get them through next season. You just would hate to see them neglect a position that did not take a step forward in 2018.LinebackerThis is a lowkey need, but one worth noting. With a healthy Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell and Foye Oluokun, this team is in pretty good shape at the top of the depth chart. Behind them, though, they basically only have Duke Riley under contract, and Riley has had two straight seasons of poor tackling and coverage adventures that suggest he shouldn’t be the primary option up in case of injury. The Falcons can re-sign Bruce Carter or Kemal Ishmael, but it’d be nice to have a higher-end option to either kick Oluokun into a reserve role or serve as an option of first resort if the injury bug bites again. The Patriots haven’t lost many games in 2018. With a 7-3 record, they’re still on pace to win the AFC East handily. But unlike years past, when this New England team loses, it spirals out of the stadium like an out-of-control oil rig, destroying the earth around it in a display of unwatchable football.That new tradition continued in Week 10 http://www.falconsfootballauthentics.com/matt-ryan-jersey-authentic , where the Pats cooked up their third double-digit loss of the season. The franchise had three such losses from 2015 to 2017 combined. And a big part of those struggles can be chalked up to a suddenly-mortal Tom Brady.In three losses this fall, Brady has completed just 57.8 percent of his passes for 621 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. That shakes out to an 81.4 QB rating — the rough equivalent of what CJ Beathard had been doing in San Francisco before being replaced by the immortal Nick Mullens.Those are bad numbers in any year, but especially one where 14 different quarterbacks have a triple-digit rating. Brady should be thriving in an NFL where offense comes first. Instead, he seems to be backsliding at age 41. Which makes sense, but still seems impossible for Tom Brady, man who time forgot.Panic index: It’s Tom Brady. He won last year’s MVP at age 40. He also hung 340 yards on the Chiefs and threw for 294 yards the week prior to beat the Packers. Nothing is over until he says it is.The rich (Rams) get a little poorer The Rams became the first of the three remaining one-win teams to suffer a significant injury to their offense, losing wide receiver Cooper Kupp to a torn ACL last week. It’s a blow. Kupp was their leading receiver in 2017, and even though he’s only played eight of 10 games this year, he had already accumulated 566 yards and six touchdowns. Week 11 huddleDenny Medley-USA TODAY SportsOffense is all that matters. The power rankings prove it. Panic Index: Tom Brady doesn’t look like Tom BradyThe 5 most fireable NFL coaches after Week 10Week 11 picks: Experts are taking the Rams over the Chiefs this weekWhy did the NFL move the Chiefs vs. Rams game from Mexico City to L.A.?Worst call of the week: Where’s the consistency, refs?Did Le’Veon Bell change player holdouts forever?MVP watchlist: It’s Drew Brees’ award to losePatrick Mahomes returns to ‘Fortnite,’ only to get killed by someone in his jerseyWhen you’re scoring 33.5 points per game, every contribution matters, and Kupp was on pace to top his impressive rookie numbers from last year. Kupp did his best work in the slot for the Rams, where he took more than 75 percent of his snaps. He’s been quarterback Jared Goff’s safety valve in that offense, a reliable set of hands that Goff could count on when he needed him. Last season, Kupp had the fifth best rating of any NFL receiver on third and fourth downs, according to Pro Football Focus. This season, 25 percent of his catches have come on third downs, six of those on third downs with 6+ yards to go. With Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods as the No. 1 and No. 2 receivers and Todd Gurley in the backfield, it’s hard to look at this roster and see the Rams hurting too much. However, Sean McVay is going to have to find a way to fill Kupp’s role. Panic index: It should be fine. Josh Reynolds will get more work without Kupp, and Woods will probably do more from the slot. On top of that, you can expect tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett to fill some of the void, as Turf Show Times explains here. Where’s your luck now Youth De'Vondre Campbell Jersey , Seahawks?For a few years, it seemed like a horseshoe had taken permanent residence up the Seahawks’ butt. Everything always seemed to go their way. (Well, except on the 1-yard line in Super Bowl 49, because if any team has been tighter with Lady Luck than the Seahawks, it’s the Patriots.)In 2012, it was the replacement refs giving them a touchdown on “Fail Mary.” Two seasons later, it was the onside kick in the NFC Championship, again against the poor Packers. The next year, it was the infamous illegal bat game. A couple months after that, then-Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed what should’ve been a piece of cake field goal in the playoffs that sent the Seahawks to the next round. Even last year, in a season when they barely missed the playoffs, they found ways to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, courtesy of Bill O’Brien ruining what turned out to be Deshaun Watson’s final game as a rookie.Now, it looks like their luck is starting to run out (or it transferred over to the Chargers in some form of karmic osmosis). The Seahawks are 4-5, and all five of their losses have come in one-score games:That includes Week 10’s 36-31 loss to the Rams, a team so good that they can clinch the division in Week 11. That was also the Seahawks’ second loss to the Rams this year. The first came by an even slimmer margin, 33-31. The Seahawks had a chance to pull it out Sunday — and even benefitted from the refs not calling Russell Wilson for intentional grounding — but Aaron Donald barreling toward Wilson was too much for Seattle to overcome. So for the second straight week, the Seahawks came up short at the end of the game — and they’re not a fan of it happening to them for a change. “I’ve been here for a while now, and we’ve had a lot of games where we’ve pulled it out, so to be on the opposite side, it sucks,” Bobby Wagner said after the game.Pete Carroll also thinks it’s strange, and if something fits the Pete Carroll definition of strange, then you know it must be:Panic index: The reason those Seahawks teams always managed to find ways to win wasn’t simply good fortune. It was because they were really, really good. Once the Seahawks got rid of almost their entire defense this offseason, it looked like they were headed for rebuilding mode.But this year’s team is better than it should be. They’re hanging with the Rams and Chargers — two of the best teams in the NFL right now. They just need to figure out how to close out games again. They have a few chances left to get a signature win Youth Alex Mack Jersey , with games against the Panthers, Vikings, and Chiefs on the horizon. That’s a daunting slate to face, so even if things start coming together for the Seahawks, it might not be enough to make the playoffs this year. It’s not implausible, though; currently, there are only six NFC teams with winning records.For now, they just need to get over the hump. And if anything can get them back in luck’s good graces, it’s a date with their next opponent: the Packers.Jalen Ramsey wants out of JacksonvilleThe Jaguars have lost five straight and there’s pretty much nothing else that could be worse than that, right? Wrong! Now, the best, young player on the team, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, is posting cryptic tweets about an eventual departure from Jacksonville.A day later, he calmed things down by reminding everyone he said he wants to finish his career with the Jaguars:But his frustration has — according to at least a couple analysts — resulted in him freestyling and playing man coverage while the rest of the defense is playing zone. That could’ve been why the Jaguars’ usually strong pass defense was ripped to shreds by Andrew Luck in Week 10.Ramsey’s trash talk has been fun for Jacksonville for most of his time with the team, but it’s not quite as enjoyable for the Jaguars now that it’s blowing up in their face.Panic index: Ramsey going rogue is a problem, but he’s still a top cornerback in the NFL. The Jaguars can keep him under contract for a few more years via his fifth-year option and the franchise tag. He’s not going anywhere. Reining in and redirecting his frustration might not be as easy, though.The Giants might have cost themselves a shot at the first pick in the draftWith the Giants’ 27-23 win over the San Francisco 49ers, which was the best game of Week 10 by the way, they may have cost themselves a chance at the number one overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants desperately need a new face at quarterback and as it currently stands, Oregon’s Justin Herbert seems to be the only clear-cut franchise quarterback prospect in the draft and it’s imperative they get a chance at him with a few pieces in place already on offense. Right now, the Raiders own the first pick in the draft over the Giants and they have some quarterback issues of their own to sort out.Panic index: This season is over for the Giants. At 2-7, the Giants currently hold the third pick in the draft behind the San Francisco 49ers. They would never admit to it, but losing out and securing the first pick in the draft would be the best plan of action for them. If not, they could be looking at another season of Eli Manning with the Giants...enough to make any football fan panic.
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