The Falcons have suffered from mediocrity since they were formed in 1966. It took nearly 50 years and the arrival of Matt Ryan to see their first ever back to back playoff appearances in 2010 and 2011, but both of those were early exits.
The fans thought they had made it when in 2016, Ryan was the MVP of the league and led the team to a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl. Taking a sack set in motion events for one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sport.
Injuries have ravaged them since, and despite fans thinking they are nearly a complete team, it just hasn't happened.
What do you need to do to get this team over the hump and deliver their first title?
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD: Atlanta are full of promising talent
The Falcons are a slightly above average team at 82 OVR. They have a stronger offense at 83 OVR, but definitely have some young stars in their defense on 81 OVR.
Atlanta have a balanced roster but their only standout X-Factor Superstar is WR Julio Jones (98 OVR).
Alongside Jones, there are some very good older veterans on offense. Throwing to him is former MVP, Superstar QB Matt Ryan (89 OVR). With Superstar C Alex Mack (89 OVR) blocking. There is also a triple threat of Stars in WR Calvin Ridley (79 OVR), TE Austin Hooper (85 OVR) and HB Devonta Freeman (89 OVR).
Their defense is on a par but younger. At the heart is Star MLB Deion Jones (90 OVR) and DT Grady Jarrett (87 OVR). Their secondary has Superstar SS Keanu Neal (88 OVR) teaming alongside Stars CB Desmon Trufant (89 OVR) and FS Ricardo Allen (81 OVR).
So how can you improve this team to fight for a Lombardi trophy?
Atlanta Falcons biggest needs
The big problems you should be looking to address are focused around all the left guard and left end.
Despite investing heavily in rookies for the OL, there is still a gaping hole with LG James Carpenter (68 OVR, 71 Run Block, 72 Pass Block). He is also 30 and only going to decline. This is the perfect chance to set yourself up for years to come with a young OL.
This is a seriously talented defense, and while ROLB Foyesade Oluokun (71 OVR, 69 Zone Cover, 78 Tackle) looks like a weakness, he has 90 speed which is extremely useful as a user-controlled player.
Instead, i'd look to replace Vic Beasley Jr (75 OVR, 72 Finesse Move, 68 Block Shed). His stats have plummeted after a poor season last year, and while it doesn't reflect his actual talent you might get some decent value out of trading him.
Another team struggling for OL, but this is a team that is only 1 or 2 pieces away from being a dominant force and therefore makes sense to do a deal for a league-leading talent.
Quenton Nelson, Left Guard (87 OVR)
THE BEST: You wont find better than Nelson as an option
Best Stats: Strength (97), Impact Block (92), Lead Block (88), Run Block (86), Pass Block (84), Awareness (82)
With the talent Nelson has, and the age and development trait - you are getting a player that will dominate for 10 seasons. Give up whatever it takes.
Imagine being 23 years old and one of the strongest (97) at your position. His impact block (92) is scary good already, with lead block (88) not far behind. Having strong stats in both run block (86) and pass block (84) is rare for the position.
Joey Bosa, Left End (88 OVR)
BOSS-A: Joey will dominate as part of this team
Best Stats: Finesse Moves (97), Awareness (93), Play Recognition (91), Power Moves (89), Acceleration (87), Strength (87), Agility (87)
This Superstar X-Factor has all the skills to lead the league and rise to high 90s, if not 99 Overall, in a few seasons.
Little-to-no players have elite Finesse Moves (97) along with power moves (89). Add to this strength (87) that OL would be proud of and acceleration (87) a TE would be proud of and you have a beast.
Free Agent Targets
These guys won’t cost you draft picks, but you’ll need some cap space to sign them which means making some tough decisions with your own impending free agents.
William Hayes, Left End (83 OVR)
OLD, BUT GOLD: You will get a top level season out of Hayes
Best Stats: Tackle (90), Block Shed (87), Play Recognition (85), Strength (85), Acceleration (84), Power Moves (82), Speed (80)
Hayes is one of the best Free Agents available, and despite his age he can do a job by slotting in ahead of, or in place of, a sub-standard Beasley Jr.
His tackle (90) and block shed (87) are still elite, and despite his age he has good speed (80) and acceleration (84) which is enough for the position. He has great power moves (82) too.
Clint Boling, Right Guard (76 OVR)
VERSATILE: Clint will do a great job filling in for a couple of years
Best Stats: Strength (87), Lead Block (86), Impact Block (86), Awareness (85), Run Block (76), Pass Block (75)
The Falcons OL isn’t the worst in the league, but it does lack quality at LG. We don’t really have much access to any so I would acquire Boling and then edit him to being a left guard.
He doesn’t lose too much (74 OVR) and he has OK strength (87) to deal with big DTs. His run block (76) and pass block (75) is well balanced, and he runs a power offense well.
Both QBs are well into their 30s and so looking for the long term replacement for Matt Ryan (89 OVR) and Matt Schaub (56 OVR) will be a priority. C Alex Mack (89 OVR) is of a similar age at 33 and regression will mean he will need a long term replacement soon.
There is a lot of talent throughout this roster, so an approach of best talent available will suffice here to help push them toward that elusive first Lombardi trophy.
Nailing the draft can be a big ask, as players rarely fit needly into their expected stat ranges and the AI can snipe your targets from you. Don’t fear, we have all the tips & tricks for you to master drafting in Franchise Mode here.