The coronavirus has paused many major sports across the map, but the NFL has yet to be massively affected by the outbreak and the current plan is for the regular season to start on time. All 32 team schedules are still set to be released on May 9, assuming things go to plan.
But every year there are leaks that come prior to the release.
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Falcons vs. Tom Brady
Tom Brady left the New England Patriots dynasty (finally) and is headed to Florida to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That’s fantastic news for the Bucs, but now this means that Tom Brady is in the Falcons’ division and they will have to face him not just once, but twice this fall –one possibly being in the first game of the season.
The last time the Falcons faced Tom Brady was during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in 2017. The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead (that they’ll never live down) and lost to the Patriots 34-28.
There’s only one way the Falcons can redeem themselves from the scarring toss—win in Week 1 (assuming the two are indeed matched up) and pressure Tom Brady.
Impressing on Defense
The Falcons went into the 2020 NFL Draft knowing they needed to bolster their pass rush and they did that early in the second round. Atlanta turned to Auburn defensive tackle Marlon Davidson to spark their defense.
Davidson is coming off a season in which he was one of the most feared and savage defensive lineman in college football. The former Tiger star finished fourth in the SEC with eight sacks.
Before the draft, the Falcons signed former Florida Gators pass-rusher Dante Fowler to a three-year, $48 million deal to help fill their Vic Beasley and De’Vondre Campbell void. They are also planning to further improve former first-round picks, Takkarist McKinley and Charles Harris. If all goes well, the Falcons defense could be one of the scariest in the league.
A Sack Machine in Dante Fowler
Fowler is coming off the best season of his career in 2019 with the Los Angeles Rams. He recorded a career-best of 11.5 sacks last season. He plans to do more for Atlanta, as he told Kelsey Conway of the team’s official website.
“I feel like you either get better or you get worse, Fowler said. It’s really cool to just show you guys that I’m a consistent guy, that I can come out here and get double-digit sacks a year. And go out there and play a huge role on my defense and on the team as far as being a spark—being a spark, setting a tone, playing off of each other. Making opportunities for not only myself but for my team. This was always my dream, to always be put in this position.”
The one QB Fowler is looking forward to sacking the most is Tom Brady, “just because he’s Tom Brady.”