After a 7-9 season marred by injuries, the Falcons haven't been mentioned as frequently among the NFL contenders as they had been the past couple of offseasons.
Not everyone is out on Atlanta, however. In a "Good Morning Football" segment on the top dual-threat running backs in the league, NFL Network's Kyle Brandt dropped a line that is sure to catch Falcons fans' attention.
"The Atlanta Falcons are the snake in the grass in the entire NFL," Brandt told his co-hosts Kay Adams and Peter Schrager. "A team that could win the division; a team that could go deep in the playoffs."
If they are able to stay healthy, the Falcons look to have enough talent to make their third playoff run in four seasons. One such player who must stay on the field is running back Devonta Freeman, who missed all but two games last season.
It was during his proselytization of Freeman, who had three straight seasons of over 1,100 yards from scrimmage prior to his injury last season, that Brandt shared his feelings on the Falcons. In making his case for Freeman as the NFL's best dual-threat back, Brandt made it clear he's just as high on the two-time Pro Bowler.
"Freeman, oh baby, he's going to get a lot of work," Brandt said. "Watch, he's going to be a fantasy factor, a reality factor. Huge bounce-back season for Devonta Freeman, could be like Comeback Player of the Year caliber."
Tevin Coleman, Freeman's longtime partner in the Falcons' backfield, left as a free agent this offseason, but Ito Smith will return after a nice rookie season, and Atlanta drafted running backs Qadree Ollison and Marcus Green in this year's draft. Still, if he can stay on the field, Freeman will have the chance to prove Brandt right on both of his opinions.