Alex Flanaggan/ESPN StaffThe Atlanta Falcons have been one of the NFL’s best teams over the past few seasons, but their record and playoff performance are on the decline.
The Falcons were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs this past year and were one of three teams to lose three consecutive games.
That left a hole in the Falcons roster, and the Falcons are hoping to fill it.
Here are five storylines from the team’s final season.1.
Is this the season the Falcons get to be a playoff team again?
They’ve been a championship team for a while, but they’ve never been a legitimate contender in the playoffs.
The team lost its way last year, as the Falcons finished 8-8 and finished last in the NFC South.
They didn’t get the postseason push they needed last year.
They’ll have to do it this year.2.
Can the Falcons find a QB?
This offseason, the Falcons tried to find a quarterback, but none of their options were enough.
That could change this year, especially with Ryan Fitzpatrick entering free agency and rookie Derek Barnett starting.
The biggest question is whether the Falcons can find a viable option who can run and throw with the skill set of the franchise quarterback.3.
How will the Falcons make the playoffs?
The Falcons will have to win a lot to make it back to the playoffs, and if they get the kind of quarterback they need, they should be competitive.
They could have a legitimate shot at the playoffs if they can make it into the postseason this year and avoid the injury bug that has plagued them over the years.4.
Can Julio Jones take the next step?
Jones was a stud receiver for a long time in Atlanta, but the Falcons never found a quarterback capable of handling him.
Jones is still young, but he needs to find his own way as a receiver.
He’ll have a good chance to be an effective pass catcher if he can keep his arm in bounds.5.
How can the Falcons upgrade their pass rush?
The offensive line is an area of need.
The pass rush will need to improve with the addition of free agent signee Jonathan Babineaux.
If they can add an elite pass rusher in the draft, the team could be in good shape.6.
Can they turn this around?
This is the toughest part of the season for any team, especially one with a chance to make the postseason.
The Atlanta Falcons could be the best team in the league, but there’s always a chance they’re not.
They need to do a better job with the talent they have.