The Atlanta Falcons just completed the most disappointing 2013 campaign of any franchise in the National Football League.
And despite the absolute confusion most Falcons fans had as to why the season went so far south, Las Vegas seems to think the 2014 season will be much better for Atlanta.
According to Vegas Insider, the Falcons open at 25/1 odds to win the 2015 Super Bowl – only six teams have better odds to win the Lombardi Trophy next year.
A few things jump out at me when I look at the odds. First, one NFC team and three AFC teams that made the 2013 playoffs have smaller odds to win it all next season than the Falcons. Also, the Falcons are projected to be the sixth-best team, if you believe the odds, in the NFC next year.
This could be a sign of something Falcons fans hoped but couldn’t confirm: Maybe the 2013 season was a fluke. Perhaps Atlanta wasn’t that far off from having a decent season, and after a year of bad football, the Falcons could be poised to return to the top of the standings.
A young offensive line could improve next season, and the front office is likely to look to free agency to add another piece if they see fit. The league isn’t very forgiving on quarterbacks who are constantly running for their lives, and the Falcons’ brass isn’t going to stand for franchise quarterback Matt Ryan getting hit 20 times per game any longer if they can help it.
The defense, which showed promise – especially in the secondary – last season, may get a major improvement along the line with a player like Jadeveon Clowney, as they hold the No. 6 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft thanks to such a lousy record.
Plus, with the return of receiver Julio Jones and added experience of Harry Douglas, who’s normally a No. 3 receiver but had to step up last season to fill the void, the offense could return to the levels it saw in 2012, when it was one of the most explosive units in the league.
I’m not saying you should place your bets on the Falcons now, but the confidence of Las Vegas is a promising sign because the oddsmakers usually know their stuff.