3 Key players for the Falcons offense to be successful

953190728137 atlanta falcons training camp

On paper, the Falcons offense is set to soar, as it often has with Matt Ryan under center, especially recently. However, this group has the potential to be better than just another top ten offense; it can be up there with some of the best in the league, including last year’s Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. We’ve seen what Ryan can do at the top of his game, but a few things will have to come into place for him to replicate his 2016 numbers.

Todd Gurley

The Falcons went with a low-risk, high-reward move this offseason by signing Todd Gurley to a one-year deal worth up to $6 million. It’s crazy to think about how much things can change in one season. Two years ago, Gurley was regarded as the best running back in the league, coming off his second straight All-Pro season. Now, people seem to have forgotten what he’s capable of; a chronic knee injury will do that to you. However, I don’t think the soon to be 26-year-old is done just yet.

Gurley is going to be a man on a mission in 2020 and will have everything he needs to take the pressure off his knee. The Falcons are a pass-first offense that has proven over the past three years it can still thrive without a running game at all, and they have a couple of more than capable backup running backs that will allow for a running back by committee approach. Gurley doesn’t have to be an All-Pro again for Atlanta. He just needs to add some explosiveness to the running game that has desperately lacked a spark since 2016.

Kaleb McGary

Let’s face it; when the Falcons traded back up into the first round in last year’s draft to draft Kaleb McGary, there was skepticism. After one year as a full-time starter, there still is. He allowed the most sacks of any tackle in the game last season (13), but then again, at times, he appeared to have some real potential, like when he locked Cam Jordan in Alcatraz in the Falcons win over the Saints in New Orleans. That’s not something many tackles can do, especially rookies, so there’s some promise with McGary, and if he can take a significant step forward in his second season, the Falcons offense will be much better. That should be a little easier to do with his buddy Chris Lindstrom healthy for a full slate of games.

Whoever Plays Left Guard

As things stand, the Falcons will enter training camp with only one starting job up for grabs (potentially two if you include WR3, but Russell Gage has a pretty firm grip on that role), and that’s left guard. James Carpenter might be the starter on paper, but he and Jamon Brown, Justin McCray, Matt Gono, and Matt Hennessy will battle it out during the preseason. Hopefully, the Falcons can find their starter and stick with him throughout the season, but that might not be the case. By the end of the year, though, they need to have found a reliable option, and with five potential candidates, they should be able to accomplish that.

Honorable Mention: Dirk Koetter

He’s not a player, but I still had to include him on this list. Dirk Koetter is just as important, or perhaps even more important than any of the aforementioned positions. Nobody will be Kyle Shanahan, but he has to do better at creating a more balanced offense. In turn, that should make things much easier for Matt Ryan, who has been asked to do way too much over the last three seasons. Koetter now has a year under his belt with this group, and the talent on offense is undeniable. There are no excuses for this unit not to be well within the top ten offenses in the league.

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: