Atlanta Falcons

Projected record: 10–6

What could have been had top cornerback Desmond Trufant stayed healthy? We won’t know, but Thomas Dimitroff has done a fantastic job at locking down the future of the Falcons with an extension for Trufant, a fifth-year option on left tackle Jake Matthews, and a one-year deal for Dontari Poe in free agency. Next up: extensions for both Matt Ryan and Devonta Freeman.

Pivotal game: Week 11 at Seahawks. Of course, the Packers and Patriots will both be huge tests for Atlanta, but let’s focus on Seattle. This game comes two weeks after a tough divisional road game in Carolina, a week after a home game against the Cowboys and a week before trendy NFC South contender Tampa Bay comes to town. The Falcons were a blown call away from winning in Seattle last year, and they get another crack at it in 2017.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.