The Falcons have one of the best offensive skill position groups that nobody is talking about, and there are a few reasons for that.
The first is how this offense looked a year ago. The Falcons ran the ball more than just about anyone, and when they did choose to throw with Marcus Mariota, it was oftentimes unwatchable. Kyle Pitts was also injured for a large chunk of the season, and Drake London didn’t really find his footing until the second half of the season. There was nothing sexy about it, even if it was effective at times. With Desmond Ridder under center, expect the philosophy to change a bit.
The second reason most people aren’t talking about the Falcons skill position group is that it’s built much differently than other skill position groups across the league. When you think about the teams with the best offensive weapons, you think the Bengals and the Dolphins; teams with multiple elite wide receivers. The Falcons aren’t built like that. They may have the worst wide receiver room in football, but in Arthur Smith’s offense, that’s not nearly as big of a problem as some may think.
The term positionless football is often tossed around, but very few teams actually attempt to instill that style of play into their offense. With the 2023 Falcons, positionless football will come to life. What they lack in the receiver room, they make up with elite tight ends and running backs. Offensive weapons like Kyle Pitts, Bijan Robinson, Jonnu Smith, and Cordarrelle Patterson can line up all over the field and create mismatches for opposing defenses. For an offensive mind like Arthur Smith, it’s a dream come true.
The Falcons’ third-year coach has a pep in his step that we haven’t seen before, and he’s talked about it several times during training camp. This is the most fun he’s had coaching football, and Smith thinks defenses will be in for an unusual experience when they line up across from the Falcons this year.
"We've got a lot of offensive weapons and we can attack in a lot of different ways..
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) August 16, 2023
For the first time since 2017, the Falcons seem to be building positive momentum. They overachieved the last two seasons with piss-poor rosters. Terry Fontenot finally got out from a mountain of dead cap and brought in a boatload of high-profile free agents. Playoff aspirations are no longer a pipe dream. The Falcons are set to surprise some people in 2023.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire