Outside of Julio Jones, there wasn’t much roster turnover for the Falcons offense. It is similarly talented as last year’s group with a few minor differences. Kyle Pitts should one day grow into the caliber of player that defensive coordinators fear every single play — similar to how they feel towards Jones. Calvin Ridley, Matt Ryan, Jake Matthews, and Chris Lindstrom are back; so, should they perform in the same manner as last year? No, for one simple reason — Arthur Smith. Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic puts together a well-respected list of the best offenses every year, and he suggests some positive regression from the talented group in Atlanta.
Which offenses are going to be a lot better than last year?
Which are set up to take a step back?
Ranking them 1 to 32 here: https://t.co/pb8KshkKbS
— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) August 3, 2021
13. Atlanta Falcons
Last year: 21st
This could be a sneaky good group, even without Julio Jones. Dirk Koetter never showed he could maximize the talent he had at his disposal while calling plays for the Falcons. Arthur Smith, meanwhile, did a brilliant job of putting Ryan Tannehill in position to succeed and should incorporate a play action-heavy scheme.
Calvin Ridley was one of the league’s most efficient wide receivers last season, totaling 1,374 yards while ranking seventh in yards per route run. Historically, rookie tight ends take some time to make a big impact, but Kyle Pitts could be an exception. Atlanta needs its young offensive linemen to develop, but it would be no surprise to see the Falcons’ offense make a big leap.
As Kapadia so eloquently addresses, the only real facet of the group that could hinder its overall success is the offensive line. The talent is there for Smith to put together a surprisingly impressive group, but only if the offensive line is fortified. Smith elevated Ryan Tannehill to a Pro-Bowl level, who was long considered a below-average quarterback in Miami, so I can assure you Matt Ryan will experience a similar ascendance. Still, the question remains how well the offensive line will progress from now until the season opener against the Eagles.
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