2012 NFL Trade Deadline: Are the Falcons looking to make a deal?

Bob Levey

The Falcons may be 7-0, but they're far from infallible.

In his tenure as general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, Thomas Dimitroff has shown a knack for identifying the needs of his team, and quickly making moves to solve them; all the while, never being afraid to make a trade. Sitting a 7-0 the Falcons don't have many needs, but is there a position they should try to address before Thursday's deadline to take them from elite, to Superbowl lock?

Perhaps that's hyperbole, but the Falcons have an extremely good chance of making it all the way to the final game of the year. In fact, according to ESPN's stat wizards, the Falcons have a 52% chance of making the big game. So what do Atlanta need to do in order to get that number higher?

One area the Falcons should look, provided the price is right is at linebacker. Akeem Dent isn't a great option in the middle, and now with Sean Weatherspoon nursing an injury the need at linebacker becomes paramount. This wouldn't be a huge deal if the Falcons were excelling in all phases of defense, but there's a huge concen in their run defense. It's here the Falcons rank 26th in yards allowed, and 31st in yards allowed per carry.

Who will Atlanta likely meet in the playoffs sooner or later? Frank Gore and the San Francisco 49ers, Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings, and Matt Forte and the Chicago Bears. One thing all the NFC's best teams share is a strong, between tackles running game.

A team to talk to may be the Carolina Panthers, specifically about outside linebacker James Anderson. The Panthers will be looking to shed salary prior to hiring a new general manager, Anderson has expressed frustration at being let down, and with 52 tackles in seven games he's the exact kind of player Dimitroff would love to add to the organization.

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