Each week, AtlantaFalcons.com contributing writer Daniel Cox examines the NFL experts and their Falcons picks and compiles it all to see who believes the most in the Atlanta Falcons. After 16 weeks of a tight race, two pundits have emerged with the best record at 13-2, but are they the most loyal Falcons pundits?
It's been a long year.
Some pundits like ESPN's Adam Schefter and NFL Network's trio of Sterling Sharpe, Solomon Wilcots and Charles Davis have had tough years. They've not believed in the Falcons very strongly this season and their respective 9-6 and 8-6 records show that fact.
Others like Merril Hoge, Ron Jaworski, Adam Schein, Jeff Schultz and the Brian duo (Billick/Baldinger) have remained fiercely loyal to the Falcons and have earned the identical 12-3 record. AccuScore has a 12-3 record but picked against the Falcons in key games this season.
Chris Mortensen hung with the Falcons for much of the season, but his love faded down the stretch as did his stature in the standings.
It should be noted that Schultz, the local Atlanta columnist, picked the Falcons to win every single game this season.
It's another unanimous week of pickings for the pundits so it's clear that PFT's Gregg Rosenthal — a fairly staunch supporter of the Falcon — and ESPN's Mark Schlereth —a hot and cold supporter — will tie for the title this season.
They'll be No. 1 in the standings, but No. 1 in the hearts of Falcons fans all over will be the steadfast Schultz.
Thanks for the love, Schultzie!
"Look for Turner, Jason Snelling and the offensive line to get back on track and close out the regular season right on Sunday. But are the Falcons Super Bowl contenders? I can't say I feel as confident about that as I did last week."- Peter Schrager, FoxSports.com's Week 17 Picks * "Sorry Bears and Saints fans. Those of you hoping for a miracle from the Panthers Sunday haven't watched enough Jimmy Clausen games. Forget rallying for John Fox or the magic of a division rivalry. Clausen has no answers for a competent defense, much less one as motivated as the Falcons." - Gregg Rosenthal, ProFootballTalk.com's Week 17 picks * "This week, the Falcons face Fox's Panthers, who are one bad quarterback short of qualifying for aid from FEMA. The Falcons are trying to close out the NFC South Division title and home field through the playoffs. If they can't beat this bunch, they should be forced to watch Tucker Carlson diatribes on an endless loop. (OK, maybe not. That would violate the Geneva Convention.)" -Jeff Schultz, AJC Blog