The Atlanta Falcons began the 2022 campaign with low expectations, but they 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 too. As we look forward to a pivotal offseason, I’ll continue my series reviewing the Atlanta Falcons season by position, continuing with the tight ends.
Atlanta Falcons 2022 season in review: Tight Ends
The Falcons will always get decent production from the tight ends because Arthur Smith’s offense features them, but there’s no sugar-coating Kyle Pitts‘ let-down sophomore campaign. However, a silver lining is the emergence of others within the position, most notably MyCole Pruitt, who was a menace in the red zone.
- Kyle Pitts stats: 59 targets, 28 receptions, 356 yards, 2 TDs
- MyCole Pruitt stats: 21 targets, 16 receptions, 150 yards, 4 TDs
- Anthony Firkser stats: 13 targets, 9 receptions, 100 yards
- Parker Hesse stats: 11 tagets, 9 receptions, 89 yards
None of those figures are going to blow anyone away, and Pitts’ final stat line was a far cry from his record-breaking rookie season. It’s fair to chalk up most of his regression to Marcus Mariota. Sure, some might fall on Arthur Smith, but with Matt Ryan, Pitts broke numerous league and franchise records en route to a Pro Bowl. I expect him to have a huge 2023 campaign.
Pruitt played himself into another contract. He was reliable as a receiver and blocker, regularly slipping through defenses in the red zone, hauling in four touchdowns. Hesse might not be the size of Lee Smith or Mercedes Lewis, but he was as effective as a blocker. The Falcons have to bring him back for that alone. Firkser disappointed a bit but still turned in a respectable season.
The Falcons will have to add to this position group in 2023, and all eyes in Georgia will be on Darnell Washington. A man among boys, the two-time National Champion is reminiscent of Mercedes Lewis as the former Bulldog stands 6′ 7″ and weighs 269 pounds. Falcons fans are salivating at the thought of him in Arthur Smith’s offense, and rightfully so. It’s a match made in heaven.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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