Atlanta Falcons 2022 season in review: Offensive Line

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The Atlanta Falcons began the 2022 campaign with low expectations but turned in another promising season under the new regime. The offense became one of football’s most dominant rushing units, and the special teams was among the league’s best. As far as the defense… it can only go up, right? There are plenty of resources to improve the roster as well. As we look forward to a pivotal offseason, I’ll continue my series reviewing the Atlanta Falcons season by position, continuing with the offensive line.

Atlanta Falcons 2022 season in review: Offensive Line

The Falcons biggest surprise of the 2022 season has to be the big uglies up front. Nobody expected the unit to turn into one of the better groups in the league, and that’s not hyperbole. The Falcons offensive line went from one of the absolute worst units in 2021 to one of the best in 2022. The Falcons boasted arguably the most impressive rushing attack in football, ranking in the top five in yards per game and yards per carry, which can be attributed to the offensive line.¬†

  • Jake Matthews: 77.2 overall grade, 80.9 pass blocking grade, 69.5 run blocking grade, six penalties, four sacks allowed
  • Elijah Wilkinson: 64.3 overall grade, 70.7 pass blocking grade, 64.4 run blocking grade, five penalties, two sacks allowed
  • Matt Hennessy: 75.4 overall grade, 69.0 passing blocking grade, 82.6 run blocking grade, three penalties, two sacks allowed
  • Colby Gossett: 53.3 overall grade, 44.4 pass blocking grade, 59.6 run blocking grade, three penalties, no sacks allowed
  • Chuma Edoga: 77.8 overall grade, 62.5 pass blocking grade, 84.9 run blocking grade, one penalty, no sacks allowed
  • Drew Dalman: 65.9 overall grade, 55.1 pass blocking snap, 69.5 run blocking grade, nine penalties, no sacks allowed
  • Chris Lindstrom: 95.0 overall grade, 81.7 pass blocking grade, 93.1 run blocking grade, two penalties, two sacks allowed
  • Kaleb McGary: 86.6 overall grade, 66.9 pass blocking grade, 91.6 run blocking grade, five penalties, six sacks allowed

The Falcons had a revolving door at left guard, with four players starting at the position, and there was minimal fluctuation in the effectiveness of the entire group. Wilkinson was an excellent addition, but the Falcons could very well upgrade the position.

Chris Lindstrom has quickly established himself as an elite guard, earning All-Pro honors following his fourth season. He’ll be playing in 2023 under his fifth-year option, but nobody should be surprised if the team extends him this offseason.

Drew Dalman performed acceptably and deserves more time to develop, but upgrading the center position has to be in the back of the team’s mind. Having an elite center can completely change an offensive line. It’s arguably the most undervalued position in the sport.

Jake Matthews’ run blocking grade wasn’t nearly as indicative of how much better he was in that area this season. Typically known for his elite pass protection, the stalwart left tackle performed impressively in the run game, especially considering the circumstances at left guard.

Kaleb McGary turned in a career year and will test free agency. There’s a decent chance the team will bring him back because the other options aren’t inspiring. He’s still suspect in pass protection, but the man is a mauler in the run game. He and Lindstrom were one of the best run blocking tandems in the game last season.

The offensive line was much improved, without much personnel change. Imagine how good this offense could be if the Falcons upgraded a few positions along the front.

Photographer: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire

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