Falcons fans won’t like ESPN’s 2023 NFL simulation

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Sports have become so analytical nowadays that I’ve coined the phrase, “Stop watching (insert sport here) through an Excel spreadsheet.”

Baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and everything in between rely on the analytics. Thankfully, there are still people who remember there is a human element. In Major League Baseball, it takes a special group to come together and stick together over 162 games and the postseason. For football, the importance of intangibles cannot be overstated enough.

However, there are still those who swear they can paint an accurate picture with numbers. That’s exactly what Seth Walder of ESPN did with a simulation of the 2023 season.

The forecast is powered by ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), which simulates the season 20,000 times. However, this particular simulation was No. 3,818, and Falcons fans will not like it.

Atlanta starts off winless through the first four weeks, including a heartbreaking loss to the Bryce Young-led Panthers. The rookie quarterback apparently drives Carolina the length of the field to win 23-20.

There’s not some miraculous turnaround for the Falcons either. If you fast forward to the end of the season, you quickly find out the Falcons finished with a 5-12 record.

That would be a supreme disappointment for Atlanta. It’s two games worse than a far less talented team finished a year ago and in 2021. Something must’ve catastrophically gone wrong in this situation. Desmond Ridder was even worse than Marcus Mariota; devastating injuries or just the worst luck you’ve ever seen.

I would say the Falcons’ floor is five wins, so it’s in the realm of possibilities, but everything would have to work against them. If it’s any consolation for fans, the Saints finished last in the division with a 5-12 record, so hang your hats on that.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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