Last Season: 13-3, 3-3 division Playoffs: Lost to San Francisco in third round Stat Leaders: QB Matt Ryan (4,719 YDS, 32 TDS, 14 INTS); RB Michael Turner (800 YDS, 10 TDS); WR Roddy White (1,351 YDS, 7 TDS); LB Stephen Nicholas (97 TACKLES, 2.0 SACKS) The Buzz: Franchise quarterback Matt Ryan, the team's biggest star, continues to improve each season. He is eager to finally break through and reach the Super Bowl, matching the feat accomplished last season by contemporary Joe Flacco. The team parted ways with top running back Michael Turner, but Atlanta boasts a variety of other rushing threats who should help Ryan continue to move the ball steadily on offense. Atlanta needs draft pick Desmond Trufant to make a quick transition to his role at cornerback opposite former UCF star Asante Samuel. The position is critical with the Falcons regularly facing quarterbacks who put up big passing numbers. Atlanta also is hoping to get steady play from defensive end Osi Umenyiora. Luck Factor: Ryan and the Falcons are close to being a championship team, but it takes a bit of luck to take the final step.
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