Now that the offseason is in full swing for the whole NFL, it is time to ask if we could see the first back-to-back Super Bowl Rematch since Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII, both ending in a Dallas Cowboys victory over the Buffalo Bills.
New England Patriots:
This section nearly writes itself. Tom Brady with Bill Belichick for 3-5 more years…that was the story hours before the Super Bowl. Sure they have a few big names to resign this offseason (Dont’a Hightower), but Bill Belichick has shown over the better part of two decades he can and will scrape every ounce of talent and production out of any and every player he coaches. And with Josh McDaniels again turning down head coaching opportunities there is no reason for anything to change in New England next year.
The Brightside: The Falcons had the highest powered offense in the NFL this year. Matt Ryan is knocking on the door of the Elite QB Club. Julio Jones is the NFL’s best receiver. The best RB duo ever, if you ask Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, will be back at it next year. The defense needs some retooling but Vic Beasley is the NFL’s leading sacker, only 24, and with Dan Quinn as head coach the defense will get the job done.
The Downside: Falcons coaches are harder to find than you might think after a Super Bowl appearance. Kyle Shanahan is taking on the mess called the San Francisco 49ers as head coach. RB coach Bobby Turner is tagging along with Shanahan. QB Coach Matt LaFleur is expected to also head west and accept the same position with the LA Rams. RB coach Bobby Turner is tagging along with Shanahan. And finally, the Falcons fired DC Richard Smith and DL Coach Bryan Cox.By Matt Ryan’s own admission, it took him all of the 2015
By Matt Ryan’s own admission, it took him all of the 2015 season to get a handle on Kyle Shanahan’s playbook which explains the relatively poor numbers he put up that season. And now he will not only have a new playbook and OC, but also a new QB coach all while trying to keep the success of last season going. And defensively they’ll be looking for a replacement for Richard Smith who had been with the team since 2014, but with Dan Quinn at head coach, this may not be priority #1 since Quinn called all the defensive plays in the second half of the Super Bowl.
Bottom line: Atlanta will have all the talent that led them to an NFC Championship and Super Bowl appearance, but continued success will depend on how quickly the new coaches can install their playbooks and get the players to buy into the new philosophies.