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Preseason power rankings: No. 14 Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons had a free fall in 2013, considering that they had Super Bowl aspirations.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Record: 4-12

Notable Losses: Peria Jerry (retirement), Tony Gonzalez (retirement), Thomas DeCoud, Akeem Dent, Jason Snelling

Notable Gains: Tyson Jackson, Devin Hester, Paul Soliai, Jon Asamoah, T.J. Yates, Josh Wilson

Draft Class:Jake Matthews, Ra'Shede Hageman, Dezmen Southward, Devonta Freeman, Prince Shembo, Ricardo Allen, Marquis Spruill, Yawin Smallwood, Tyler Starr

The Facts: The Falcons were abysmal in the trenches. Offensively and defensively they were terrible at pass blocking, run blocking, rushing the passer and stopping the run. I expect that they'll at least be better at pass protection as they went out and got Jon Asamoah and Jake Matthews, along with the return of Sam Baker.

Offensively, this is a pass-first team and I'm not convinced of their running game consisting of 31-year-old Steven Jackson, change of pace back Jaquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman. Their tight ends took a hit with the retirement of Tony Gonzalez, but they still have possibly the best WR duo in Julio Jones and Roddy White, and they might both get 1,500 yards due to the Falcons defense, which I'm still not a believer in.

Overall, Matt Ryan will carry the Falcons to a winning record and a potential Wild Card berth, but they're a run game and defense away from winning the South.

Predicted Record: 9-7. Wins against Panthers, Buccaneers, Vikings, Browns, Steelers, Cardinals, Bears and Packers

If you disagree with my assessment and ranking remember: Unless it's something crazy, your guess is as good as mine.