Part of what makes the NFL so entertaining is its unpredictable nature.
For an idea of just how much the league's hierarchy fluctuates, consider this nugget from the* St. Louis Post-Dispatch's* Bernie Miklasz: For nine consecutive years—and 12 of 13—a team finished atop its division after finish last the campaign before.
Additionally, five clubs who didn't qualify for the playoffs in 2013 made the cut last winter, and four teams punched tickets to the dance in 2013 after falling short in 2012.
This parity is great news for the Falcons, who hope to return to postseason action after missing out for two straight years. With a new coaching staff in place, an improved roster and a fresh outlook, a resurgence is possible, if not likely.
Several NFL Network personalities agree. Earlier this week, expert Eric Davis and former New Orleans Saint Heath Evans tabbed Atlanta as a sleeper who will make the playoffs in 2015.
"Arthur Blank put down a mandate. He wanted this team to get tougher," said Davis. "And looking at what he brought in with Dan Quinn, knowing that he came from that tough system (in Seattle) … I like what they're doing trying to make this team tougher. Of course they can score, so they're in the hunt."
"I'll co-sign with that Atlanta pick," Evans added.