Use the West Coast to win on the West Coast
This is a two-part key for the 2016 Atlanta Falcons on their quest to make it to NRG Stadium in Houston for Super Bowl LI. The Atlanta Falcons will need to play well in the Pacific and Mountain time zones in 2016, as they have four West Coast road games in 2016. Atlanta will also need to become more proficient in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s West Coast offensive system.
Four of Atlanta’s road games in 2016 will be in Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, and Oakland. Atlanta and its NFC South comrades may receive some help from the NFL and have two games on the West Coast scheduled in back-to-back weeks to help Atlanta out with regards to travel.
Playing both the AFC and NFC West isn’t all that bad for the Atlanta Falcons. The 2012 team went 4-0 against the AFC West en route to a 13-3 regular season. Dan Quinn was on Pete Carroll’s staff in Seattle for two years, so he probably has a great understanding about how to beat NFC West teams.
Coincidentally, most of these four West Coast teams on the Atlanta Falcons’ 2016 regular season slate have good to great defensive backfields. Perhaps the best way for the Falcons to attack those teams aerially is in the short-to-medium passing game emphasized by the West Coast system. Expect quarterback Matt Ryan and the rest of the Falcons offense to play better through the air in year two of Shanahan’s West Coast system.
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