In 2021, the Atlanta Falcons instructed their followers that they weren’t in the beginning of a rebuild, however trying on the roster right this moment, you’ll be able to’t actually name it anything. The workforce traded away franchise icon Matt Ryan and misplaced out within the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, and so change is coming within the second yr of head coach Arthur Smith’s tenure. Smith guided the Tennessee Titans’ offense to an AFC Championship and is tasked with taking the Falcons again to the highest of the NFC. Let’s take a look at whether or not the Falcons can enhance on their 7-10 document from a yr in the past, or whether or not this will probably be a yr of retrenching, as you consider easy methods to embrace them in your NFL betting.
NFL Information: What Are the Odds? Will the Atlanta Falcons Enhance This Season?
Clearly, with out Matt Ryan throwing the ball, the Falcons will grow to be extra cell at quarterback. Veteran Marcus Mariota will begin the season within the #1 function, and he has been primarily used to run the ball in Tennessee and Las Vegas. The Falcons drafted Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati within the first spherical, and he’s one other quarterback who makes use of his mobility to increase performs. Ridder has a method that’s prepared for the professional sport, so I wouldn’t be stunned to see him getting important motion by mid-season.
On the bottom, Cordarrelle Patterson lastly had his breakout season, accounting for 1,166 yards and 11 touchdowns. He signed a two-year extension and can as soon as once more be a twin receiver-running again menace, just like how the 49ers used Deebo Samuel a yr in the past. Tailbacks Damien Williams, Caleb Huntley, Qadree Ollison and Tyler Allgeier will spherical out the competitors in coaching camp. Allgeier is a bruising runner who additionally matches properly into what Smith likes to do on offense.
Tight finish Kyle Pitts will proceed to be a big a part of the Falcons’ offense, together with extensive receiver Drake London, whom the Falcons chosen eighth general within the draft. A lot of the Falcons’ extensive receivers are depth guys as a substitute of velocity or possession guys, and London will get loads of time, together with Bryan Edwards, who got here by way of commerce from Las Vegas. Calvin Ridley will miss the season due to a playing suspension, so the receiving group positively has alternatives for guys who need to take the following step of their careers.
Foyesade Oluokun was the workforce’s greatest tackler final yr, however he has departed. Grady Jarrett remains to be a power up entrance, however that is his contract season. He’s the workforce’s greatest D-lineman, so will probably be attention-grabbing to see if the workforce is keen to spend on him. Up entrance, the workforce has solely added one participant, Vincent Taylor, for depth. At outdoors linebacker, Lorenzo Carter ought to lead the cross rush to success, with draft picks DeAngelo Malone and Arnold Ebiketie becoming a member of the workforce this yr. Carter had a career-best 5 sacks in 2021. This group might mount a constant cross rush, which the workforce has not had since 2017.
At inside linebacker, the workforce picked up Rashaan Evans from Tennessee, and he ought to mesh with 2020 draft choose Mykal Walker to fill Oluokun’s footwear. Deion Jones has had a disappointing couple of years, and at this level, the workforce would seemingly lower or restructure his deal for 2023.
Within the secondary, cornerback A.J. Terrell can shut down one receiver, and veteran Casey Hayward Jr will line up on the opposite aspect of the formation. Isaiah Oliver returns at slot nook after lacking plenty of 2021 as a result of damage. At security, Richie Grant and Jaylinn Hawkins should enhance their play to fulfill the potential they confirmed earlier than the Falcons drafted him.
Kicker Younghoe Koo is without doubt one of the greatest kickers within the NFL and earned the five-year extension the Falcons gave him. The punter job will seemingly both go to Dom Maggio or Seth Vernon, and Beau Brinkley and Liam McCullough will vie for the lengthy snapper place.
General, the Falcons will battle to win greater than seven video games this season. They’ve two NFC contenders of their division (Tampa Bay and New Orleans) and a Carolina workforce that ought to be quite a bit higher with Baker Mayfield working the offense.
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