“I think it’s about us, though,” Ryan said. “The mindset is that we have to have, is that we (must) have ourselves prepared and be ready to go.”
Ryan has seen most of the offseason rankings that mostly place the Falcons in third behind the Saints and Buccaneers. The Saints have won the past three division titles and won by six games last season in an NFL built on parity.
“I have the belief that we are right there with all of those teams,” Ryan said. “They have to deal with us as well. We create a number of issues for these teams to go against. If we play our best, we can go toe-to-toe with anyone, any week.”
The Falcons are putting a lot of stock in their road wins over the Saints and the 49ers last season.
The Falcons also will need to have improved play along the offensive line, find a pass rush and hope their young cornerbacks hold up.
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